The value of a memorable experience has taken on new value as more and more people find enjoyment in exploring new countries and cultures. Alpacr is an app designed to act as the home for these experiences, providing somewhere to share where people have been or find a new place to visit. Recognised in our sister publication, SME News’ Business Elite Awards as Leading Travel Blogging Platform, 2020, we at Corporate Vision decided to share a little more about a start-up set to take the world by storm.
Travel is key to the attitudes of 18-30-year olds, as the ability to go all around the world with ease has become a highly valued commodity. Alpacr aims to be the home for this nomadic community, tying together the various strands that this group values most. It’s a place to share words of wisdom and pictures of power, somewhere to recommend and be recommended. In a world that is increasingly interested in a global worldview, Alpacr is an app built around discovering a world without borders. And it very nearly collapsed overnight.
After a couple of exceptional launch years, which saw Alpacr make its mark across Europe, there was a great deal of positive energy about the company. Awards were won with Richard Branson, and one of YikYak’s founders, Tyler Droll, joined the team. Things went downhill suddenly and quickly, however. As the sun set on a Bali beach, the $420,000 investment that CEO Dan Swygart had expected fell through. Despite constantly working on raising the capital, it became a reality of $100,000. By this point, Swygart had built up a strong team of software developers, all of whom were working on the company’s biggest feature update and launching in South-East Asia. The success of Alpacr depended on finding this investment.
As any company leader will say, tenacity and determination are the watchwords of good business, and as the company began to haemorrhage money, Swygart left the UK for Silicon Valley. Here, he donned an Alpacr mask and cardboard sign, advertising the potential of his businesses to all who passed. This unconventional method proved incredibly effective, drawing investors from the SandHill Angels, to one of the people who helped Steve Jobs build Apple’s success. By the end of his time in Silicon Valley, Swygart had managed not only to raise the investment he needed, but had made a host of new and useful contacts for the future.
All of this happened in 2019, but 2020 seems set to herald a new, more stable situation for the business. Much like its audience, the app retains a global attitude and has team members spread all over with the world, in Cardiff in the UK, Silicon Valley in the USA, and Bali in Indonesia. Alpacr continues to be popular amongst travellers, with its simplicity and ease of use acting as a major positive for users. It’s this continued closeness with user experience that has allowed Alpacr to grow so successfully.
The team has been able to work on what looks like the platform’s biggest ever feature updates, building upon addictiveness, community, video content, and viral growth effects. This will be combined with the company’s biggest marketing campaign yet, introducing the platform to a whole new audience. A return to Silicon Valley is also in order, with the aim of securing the next round of investment that the company requires.
Travel broadens the mind, and Alpacr has had to travel far and learn quickly in order to keep going. Now, however, it seems solid in its standing with the sterling efforts of Dan Swygart ensuring that it stays afloat. It’s becoming easier to travel around the world, and to share the world we see with others. Apps like Alpacr encourage both, feeding an audience that can expand its incredible success.
Contact: Dan Swygart