WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Quiptu, the “Airbnb” for outdoor gear rentals, is partnering with Purdue clubs and local businesses to expand the availability of gear like bikes, kayaks and more.
Quiptu offers outdoor equipment to customers who need to rent the equipment for a fixed term. The equipment available, the price of the equipment and the time slot of availability are at the discretion of the equipment owners.
In an effort to connect with local businesses and organizations, John Laughlin, co-founder and COO of Quiptu, reached out to Purdue hiking and cycling clubs.
The Outing Club, according to its website, is “involved in any activity that involves the outdoors. It’s a place where people who love the outdoors can meet and have fun.”
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Likewise, the Purdue Cycling Club is made up of members who are passionate about cycling and the outdoors. Those relationships were a great match to make, according to Laughlin.
“Quiptu is all about biking, camping, hiking, kayaking and paddle boarding,” Laughlin said. “And so these two clubs, there are natural synergies with our business categories.”
Within the Outing Club is a library of gear and equipment that members can use for official club business. However, those interested in participating in the activities who may not be part of the Club can use Quiptu equipment to continue having fun.
“There are plenty of opportunities for small groups to informally explore the outdoors, and that’s where Quiptu may have listings that may be appealing to those students,” Laughlin said. “And then, on the other hand, maybe seniors or graduate students who have the gear can list the gear and now make some money on it.”
Quiptu also recently partnered with Velo Wrench, a Lafayette-based mobile bike repair company and bike shop, Virtuous Cycles.
“Quiptu is considered a peer-to-peer platform,” Laughlin said. “However, we’re also (bike lovers) at heart. And we don’t really discriminate who can help us increase supply. And so if companies have bikes, backpacks or kayaks and that they want to list them, we’re down for that.”
With Quiptu being such a new company, only around three and a half months old as of September 2022, the expansion that comes with connecting with local organizations and businesses is something Quiptu might not have expected to achieve as well. rapidly.
“It’s an amazing achievement for us because we just launched on June 1,” Laughlin said. “And we’re so new. We don’t have the advantage of having a big brand or a known brand at this point. Meeting business owners who have strong roots in their communities and finding a win-win partnership over there is huge for us.
“Hopefully we can get transactions on the platform for these business owners to realize the benefits of building the listings.”
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A future expansion of Quiptu could look like adding snow and winter gear, such as ski gear, cross-country skis, and snowshoes. That’s something the Quiptu team is exploring, according to Laughlin.
Expansion in the form of new markets is also on the table for the company, as its services are currently available in Indiana and Colorado.
“I think the growth for us is a combination of potential entry into new business categories, but also introducing Quiptu into less seasonally affected markets,” Laughlin said. “One thing I’m excited to share is that we’re planning on taking Quiptu to Austin, TX in November.”
To learn how to rent or list equipment through Quiptu, visit www.quiptu.com.
Margaret Christopherson is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @MargaretJC2.