The Portuguese, and the European in general, are travel lovers. Indie Campers brings the campervan rental market closer to them. I chatted with Hugo Oliveira, founder of the company. We talked about the idea, their expansion plans, the Portuguese startup scene, and more.
In a nutshell what is Indie Campers and how did the idea come about?
While working & travelling in Australia, I got inspired by the developed campervan rental market in the country. Together with my austrian friend Stefan, I decided to import the concept and popularize camper van traveling all over Europe, whilst providing travelers with the best quality / price solution. Combining digital focus with an outstanding customer service, Indie Campers aims to provide the ultimate roadtrip experience.
What main goals have you accomplished in the four years of activity you have so far?
We are present in more than 60 locations spread across 6 european countries – Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland and Beligum – with a fleet of over 400 vans and clients from more than 60 different countries. The satisfaction level is also outstanding, with about 95% of 5 star reviews between our review platforms.We have been working hard for this but it totally blew our expectations!
Are the Portuguese road lovers?
Exploring is in the Portuguese DNA. All of the Portuguese are eager to get of the beaten tracks and find new and remote places to share with their loved ones. Despite not being one of our main markets, the interest of the Portuguese is definitely increasing. Adding to the fact that Portugal is one of the countries with the loveliest roads in the world, we can say that we are authentic road runners.
You are present in Portugal and Spain. Are there plans to expand?
We are already present in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium. Next year, we will expand to Germany, UK, Croatia, Slovenia and others more. Indie Campers’ mission is to enable the freedom of movement, inspiring and connecting explorers worldwide with unforgettable European destinations. We aim to keep expanding troughout Europe, so that our clients could be free to take their campervan anywhere.
What do you wish you’d have known when you first started?
The value of time. No matter the objectives, the growth of a company, the financials…. time is the most important variable, and the only we can’t control. Time is the only variable that is exactly the same for everybody in the world. Making the best out of it should be a concern of all of us.
If you weren’t working on IndieCampers, what would you be working on?
I would probably be creating another business related to Tourism.
Where do you see the Portuguese startup scene in five years?
Portuguese startups have been proving their worth in the last years. The country’s ecosystem is been feeding creativity and new businesses, even though some rules and laws need to be updated to keep up with this constant innovation mentality. I believe Tourism sector will be one the most important in terms of growth. We have been proving that we are a country made from and for entrepreneurs, but the time has come to reach maturity, to create conditions to be competitive abroad and incentives for the ones that, like Indie Campers, are promoting our country and creating jobs. If we manage to create buzz and atract investments for the portuguese start up scene, I believe that together with our entrepreneur DNA Portugal can become a case study of a country that managed to reinvent itself and be on the spotlight.
Find out more about Indie Campers at https://indiecampers.com/