Transportation & Logistics Travel & tourism Venture

Exclusive: Cabana Raises $10M Series A For Luxe Travel Van Rentals

Cabana, a startup that turns vans into bookable mobile hotels, raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Craft Ventures and Goldcrest Capital, the company told Crunchbase News.

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Cabana helps users plan an end-to-end travel experience. Customers can fill out a survey and Cabana will create an entire itinerary for the trip, which will be taken in one of Cabana’s vans that include a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen area. Cabana’s vans include features like a bed, TV, heating and cooling, and a shower. 

“The genesis of it was this proposition of ‘What if you could put your hotel room right where you wanted it?’” CEO Scott Kubly said in an interview with Crunchbase News. Customers could book a Cabana van and stay near a trailhead or at a music festival, for example.

The company launched last year and announced $3.5 million in a seed funding round led by Craft Ventures in May 2020. Cabana has booked around 7,000 nights in just about a year, and bookings are up 400 percent since January, Kubly said.

The funding will be used to grow the company’s tech team, build out its concierge and travel planning teams, and continue to improve its 2-passenger travel vans. The company has about 16 employees now and will likely double its team by the end of the year.

The company also plans to develop a 4-person travel van, scale its fleet, and expand into new markets. Cabana is currently available in Los Angeles and Seattle, and has 35 vans in its fleet. The company expects to have at least 250 vans in its fleet by next summer.

About 70 percent of Cabana’s guests had never rented an RV or camper, and 27 percent had only done it once or twice, Kubly said.

“I think when you look at the impact of the pandemic across every industry, what you see it doing is accelerating trends,” Kubly said. “I think what you’re seeing with travel is this outdoor kind of experiential-based travel was absolutely trending pre-pandemic and the pandemic kind of supercharged it. And I think there are a lot of trends converging that are going to reinforce it.”

Launch, Gaingels, Castor Ventures, Nordic Eye, and several angel investors and syndicates invested in the round.

While Cabana is about van travel, it also connects to people who have shifted how they want to travel, given the past year, according to investor Jason Calacanis of Launch.

“I think of it not just for people who are thinking about vans or who have rented vans in the past. I’m thinking of people whose lives changed due to the pandemic, they got more connected to their homes and families and nature, and as a result, they will now want to travel differently than they had previously,” Calacanis said in an email. “No more stale generic hotels, but instead, connected to the road — to nature — to many places during your trip, not tied to the hotel.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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