After experiencing high consumer demand following the company’s official launch in Seattle last year, Cabana, a travel-tech startup offering a luxe mobile hotel experience, has secured $10 million in Series A financing. Craft Ventures and Goldcrest Capital led the funding round, with Launch, Castor Ventures, Gaingels, Nordic Eye and other strategic angels and syndicates joining the round as well.
This most recent round of financing brings the company’s total capital investment to $15 million.
“Cabana’s growth during the pandemic proves the increasing consumer shift away from traditional modes of travel,” said David Sacks, cofounder/general partner, Craft. “We look forward to seeing Cabana expand into new markets and enhance its superior fleet of upscale, affordable mobile hotels.”
Interest in van life is surging as evidenced by the 10.2 million Instagram posts containing #vanlife, with 3.4 million posts just since the start of the pandemic. Cabana is capitalizing on this interest and bringing the experience to travelers who are interested in an adventurous, flexible and frictionless option while still having access to more upscale amenities, according to the company.
Of the more than 6,700 nights booked in Cabana vans since its launch, nearly 70% of customers had never used an RV or campervan before and 92% of customers planned to book again. “Cabana is sold out for a reason: it’s an amazing product at a great price,” said Jason Calacanis, founder of Launch and TheSyndicate.com. “It reminds me of the early days of Uber when people couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful the experience was.”
Cabana has expanded its locations from the Seattle market to Los Angeles, growing its fleet size to 35 vans, and now has an employee base of more than 15 individuals to support operations. The company has also launched Cabana Concierge, a custom itinerary service provided to customers for no additional cost, curated from a questionnaire filled in with the traveler’s preferences.
“This new round of funding allows us to significantly grow and evolve the Cabana platform, focusing on building out hardware, software and infrastructure beyond what we’ve created to date,” said Scott Kubly, Cabana founder/CEO. “We launched during the pandemic when non-traditional travel exploded in popularity, giving us a solid foundation to build from and the ability to test various things and get insights from our customers—all extremely valuable to us as a startup—and are looking at expanding the Cabana experience beyond the van itself.”
Cabana plans to use the funds from this latest round to expand in new markets that have already expressed significant demand. Additionally, more than 100 Cabana vehicles will be added to the fleet, with plans to launch a four-passenger van that will allow families with young children, or groups of close friends, to enjoy the Cabana experience. As the company expands operationally, Cabana plans to bring on more personnel to support various facets of the business.