United States: based in San Francisco mobile hosting startup Jupe announced that it raised $9.5 million in a seed funding round led by venture capital firm Initialized Capital.
The round was also backed by Y Combinator, Soma Capital, Gaingels, Bloomtech, Hometeam Ventures, Mercury, Dwell, Gelt, Skya Ventures, Flexport, and angel investor George Gund.
Co-founded in 2021 by CEO Jeff Wilson, Jupe aims to promote off-grid mobile living with a portable yurt-like living structure. In some cases, the startup has been dubbed “the Airbnb of glamping” because of its “Short Stay Land-as-a-Service Partner Program,” in which guests receive a portion of rental income to provide the land, while that Jupe delivers, installs, reserves and maintains the units itself.
Jupe is currently available to book stays ranging from one night to several months in places such as California and Colorado in the United States, although it plans to expand globally.
Named after the planet Jupiter, the geometric modules deployed by Jupe are considered futuristic alternatives to traditional glamping tents and yurts, with the global glamping market valued at approximately $4 billion.
Although originally designed for use at music festivals and other similar festivals, its canvas shelters are also intended to provide temporary accommodation for people affected by natural and environmental disasters.
Jupe plans to use the new funding to hire a chief technology officer and grow her team, as well as build the next stages of her self-contained housing platform.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Wilson revealed that Jupe has already received over 300 pre-orders and has started shipping shelters to a number of locations.
Garry Tan, founder and managing partner of Initialized Capital, told the same publication: “Jupe’s vision of universal self-contained housing will eventually allow anyone to live anywhere on the planet, comfortably and with satellite internet connection. It’s something the world has been waiting for.
“They are building a one-of-a-kind technology and software platform for the world,” he added.