Startups

Portland’s peer-to-peer adventure van renter GoCamp acquired by leading vehicle modifier

“Vanlife” has become a hot trend in travel and recreation. (GoCamp Photo)

GoCamp, a Portland-based company whose platform enables camper van owners to rent their vehicles to other adventurous types, has been acquired by Storyteller Overland, a Birmingham, Ala.-based company that builds out the sought after modes of transportation.

Founded in 2017 by Deborah Kane, the company’s CEO, GoCamp was designed to bring the property-sharing model from websites like Vacasa and Airbnb to the RV space. The company manages a fleet of about 150 camper vans available to rent in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state.

Merging with Storyteller Overland will allow GoCamp to tap into additional reach and resources and expand nationally to new markets in the Midwest and East Coast.

“We’re thrilled to be joining forces more formally with Storyteller Overland. MODE owners had been enjoying so much success through GoCamp and delighting renters so thoroughly that formalizing GoCamp’s special relationship with Storyteller Overland was a logical next step,” Kane said in a news release Wednesday.

Storyteller Overland offers its camper van modifications and in a variety of so-called “MODEs” and price points, ranging from the MODE LT at $153,000 to the Beast MODE4x4 at $198,000.

Portland’s peer-to-peer adventure van renter GoCamp acquired by leading vehicle modifier
GoCamp founder and CEO Deborah Kane. (GoCamp Photo)

Both companies tap into the “vanlife” travel and recreation craze that has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others in the space include Seattle-based startup Cabana, which rents custom-built Ford Transit vans. Another Portland company, The Dyrt, just raised $11 million in new funding for its platform that helps people figure out where to go with their adventure vans — or tents, RVs, etc.

GoCamp’s fleet of vans owned by individuals features everything from from old-school Volkswagen Vanagons and Eurovans to newer Mercedes-Benz Sprinters and the Storyteller Overland MODEs.

As part of the new deal, Kane is celebrating and supporting female entrepreneurship by donating $100,000 to three Portland-based organizations — Oregon TradeswomenXXcelerate, and Portland Mercado — and Storyteller Overland is matching the donation. Kane is also contributing to Portland State University’s Impact Ventures fund to invest in promising female-led, early-stage companies.

“Female entrepreneurship in the RV industry is rare, and women are especially scarce on the production line as cargo vans get turned into camper vans,” Kane said. “I wanted to shine a spotlight on the issue, and am thrilled to support local programs that give more women the tools they need to succeed not just in the RV space, but in the business world more broadly.”


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