Founded in January 2017, Alpacr wants to serve as a digital
diary for travelers, allowing them to consolidate insights and photos from
their trips in one app and easily share them with others.
CEO Dan Swygart founded Alpacr after being frustrated with
the process of sharing his travel experiences and finding inspiration for
travel on other platforms.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your
Alpacr is a social platform for travel and adventure. The app creates a global
community of avid travelers and adventure seekers, allowing them to consolidate
and share all of their travels and experiences, meet with like‐minded
individuals nearby, search for new places to go and visit and follow their
friends and influencers on their newsfeed.
What inspired you to create this company?
During his travels as a university student, founder Dan Swygart had to use over
10 different apps to share his experiences, connect with friends and discover
new places. Having realized the gap in the market, Swygart wanted to
consolidate everything into a single social platform for travel and adventure.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,
Threats) analysis of the company.
- Strengths: Simplicity of features, platform interface,
opportunity for users to create customized feeds, incredible team and branding
that resonates with a wide range of audiences
- Weaknesses: Competing across different niche markets,
against some of the wealthiest companies in the world (Facebook, Instagram,
- Opportunity: Huge gap in the market; no single platform
is yet to dominate the social space for adventure and travel
- Threat: Lack of intellectual property and protection
from new market entrants
What are the travel pain points you are trying to
alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
The app acts as a digital travel diary. We provide a platform whereby users can
easily and simply remember, share and show off all of their travel experiences.
With this, they can map out where they’ve been, write about it and add as many
pictures as they like.
The app also allows users to easily meet and interact with
others. So using the platform you can find someone to go surfing with, ask
where the best bars or hostels are or find someone to travel to Australia with.
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Alpacr also allows users to easily view the honest and real
experiences of other users’ travel experiences. Overall, the platform is a huge asset to the travel industry.
The growing database of user interests, travel patterns and current locations
provides significant advantages for advertising, affiliate marketing and the
data analysis of travel trends.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of
Our first marketing push was over July and August 2018. A team of 14 Alpacr
promoters traveled all over Europe to backpacking and travel hotspot locations.
Here we did guerrilla tactic marketing where we spoke to tens of thousands of
people to get them on the app, gave out free merchandise and organized various
Given the success of our initial marketing campaign, we are
planning on undertaking the same promotional activities but in Southeast Asia
and Australia during spring break in America and in Europe again next summer.
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a
genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
Our market covers all travel and adventure lovers. Ten percent of people on
international flights are considered to be backpackers, and in 2014, Americans
went on 11.7 billion outdoor adventures. Our audience since launch has also
included young families, middle-aged and retired users, all using the platform
to share their adventurous experiences.
In our first two months of launch we had over 10,000 photos
uploaded and saw the same percentage of daily active users as Tinder. This
significant traction proved validity in the product and its global potential.
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How and when will you make money?
Our objective is to become the dominant social platform for travel and
adventure. Our current aim is to achieve an active and fast-growing user base.
Once this is secured, we’ll make the best use of advertisement, affiliate
marketing and the sale of user travel data as revenue streams.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the
founding team, and why do you have what it takes to succeed with this business?
Tyler Droll is our non‐executive director. He is the former CEO of YikYak, a
social app worth $400 million after one year. He was also included in Forbes 30 Under 30 in
Dan Swygart is our CEO. He was a finalist for Great British
Entrepreneur of the year award in 2018, named one of Wales’s 25 rising stars of
2018 and winner of the Virgin Voom competition hosted by Sir Richard Branson.
Mark Morgan and Roger Thomas are the tech team. They have
more than 12 years of experience in managing and leading development projects
in multimillion-dollar startups and large tech companies.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the
business so far?
Raising investment for us early on was most difficult, before we had traction
and proof of concept. We relied on selling the dream and our potential in order
to attract investors.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time
making an impact ‐ so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
We’re unique, innovative, have an incredible team and have had a unimaginable
success to date. We also have THE coolest logo in the world: an Alpaca with
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