Quiptu defines itself as the “Airbnb” of outdoor equipment rental

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Enthusiasts of outdoor activities such as camping, kayaking and biking this summer will find it easier than ever to source the necessary gear through Quiptu, the “Airbnb” for outdoor gear rentals.

Indianapolis native John Laughlin co-founded Quiptu with brother-in-law Josh Roche earlier this month. The idea for an outdoor equipment rental business came about when Roche struggled to find a gravel bike needed for a 350-mile bike trip last year.

After:Bloomington startup Quiptu makes outdoor adventures accessible by renting gear

“And so he spent an entire night trying to see if there was an REI (store) or a bike shop where he could rent a gravel bike,” Laughlin told the Journal & Courier. “And there wasn’t one near where he was going to ride his bike. Luckily, his friend who invited him had an extra gravel bike in his garage, and Josh had to basically disassemble the bike, up to 51 pieces and ship it to Montana, assembled it in his Uber driver’s backyard.

“And the parts box came late, and so he missed the big start, so he had to catch up with everyone afterwards.”

Feeling that there must be an easier way to source hardware without buying, Quiptu was born.

Quiptu Co-Founder and CEO Josh Roche (left), Co-Founder and COO John Laughlin (center) and Head of Brand and Storytelling Ben Kirby (right).

Quiptu operates by customers visiting its website, www.quiptu.com, by choosing the activity for which the equipment is necessary, the pick-up and return dates and the location of the tenant. This will show the equipment available for hire according to the needs of the tenant.

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

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