Quiptu defines itself as the ‘Airbnb’ for outdoor rental equipment

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Fans of outdoor activities such as camping, kayaking and biking this summer will find it easier than ever to get ahold of needed equipment through Quiptu, the “Airbnb” for outdoor rental equipment.

Indianapolis native John Laughlin co-founded Quiptu with Josh Roche, his brother-in-law, just earlier this month. The idea for an outdoor equipment rental company came when Roche had trouble finding a gravel bike needed for a 350-mile, bike-packing trip last year.

More:Bloomington startup Quiptu makes outdoor adventures accessible by renting equipment

“And so he spent an entire night trying to see if there was an REI (store) or bike shop where he could rent a gravel bike,” Laughlin told the Journal & Courier. “And there wasn’t one near where he was gonna be biking. So luckily his friend who invited him had an extra gravel bike in his garage, and Josh had to essentially take the bike apart, down to 51 pieces and ship it to Montana , put it together in his Uber driver’s backyard.

“And the box of parts arrived late, and so he missed the grand departure so he had to catch-up with everybody after the fact.”

Sensing that there must be an easier way to get ahold of equipment without buying, Quiptu was born.

Co-founder and CEO of Quiptu Josh Roche (left), co-founder and COO John Laughlin (center) and head of brand and storytelling Ben Kirby (right).

Quiptu works by customers visiting its website, www.quiptu.com, choosing the activity the equipment is needed for, the pick-up and drop-off dates and the location of the renter. This will bring up the equipment available for rent according to the renter’s needs.

“So as a renter, or someone who might want to rent a kayak or bike,” Laughlin said, “you can search by location in our markets and pull up on the map and see the price of each listing…We modeled the experience after Airbnb and a couple other companies.And so our goal was to create a kind of a similar experience for both owners and renters.”

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