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Founded by hikers and hackers, this app ascends half a million investment to make planning excursions easier

Image credits: HiiKER

HiiKER, a Dublin-based platform for hikers and hiking trails, announced that it has secured a €500K seed investment round led by Fuel Ventures with participation from Enterprise Ireland and several private investors.

The announcement comes around a year after raising €100k from the Irish-based accelerator, the NDRC based in Dogpatch Labs in Dublin in 2021. 

The funding will allow HiiKER to focus on growing its community and expanding the team before launching into the US market in 2023.

Help people with hiking

Founded by a team of hikers and hackers including Paul Finlay, Eoin Hamilton, Pete Britton, and Mark Finlay in 2020, HiiKER helps people find hiking trails from the world’s top mapping providers.

In recent years (particularly due to Covid-19), there has been a boom in outdoor recreation. Leveraging the accelerated interest in hiking, the team has utilised SEO as its strongest route to market.

“Since CTO Mark Finlay has joined the team, we have seen a month-on-month growth in organic clicks of about 47%,” says Eoin Hamilton, HiiKER CMO.

“We have also seen over 200% growth in clicks for the summer months this year versus 2021. This is exciting to see as we enter the busiest period of the year for hiking.”

“We have a very engaged community that wants to see us succeed. They love the product but are not afraid to tell us where we need to improve. This enables us to build a better product that they love and will ultimately shout about.”

As of July 2022, the number of users on the HiiKER platform has risen to 380,000. 

Long distance hiking

Until this summer, the product was focused on the long-distance hiking market – those hardy folk that would spend days or months out on hiking trails. 

Equipped with a battle-tested product, the team developed the next generation of HiiKER in June 2022 for the more casual hiker, paving the way for huge growth opportunities.

“We are all about getting people outdoors in nature, and we are building tools to make that easier,” says Paul Finlay, Hiiker CEO.

Adam King, CEO of Harvey Maps, one of the UK & Ireland’s most trusted map makers states, “We are thrilled to see our maps on the HiiKER Platform. Working with the HiiKER team, enables our map users to immerse themselves in their favourite maps in a whole new way and to reach new audiences.”

Galeo Saintz, Founding Chair of the World Trails Network comments, “This is a wonderful step forward in integrating trail technology with fundraising and trail organisations. Now the many organisations behind trail care and maintenance have a more direct source of funding from trail users. With HiiKER, users can make immediate donations, even when they are on the trail!”

“We are extremely excited to be investing in Hiilker, you can tell this app has been built by hikers for hikers and the team’s passion and enthusiasm are in abundance! Their traction in terms of users and revenue to date with no marketing spend has been exceptionally strong and we look forward to their expansion with this round,” says Alexander Breeden, Fuel Ventures.

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