HiiKER secures €500k investment

In July this year, Irish start-up HiiKER, led by founder and CEO Paul Finlay, secures €500k investment. Investors include ourselves, Enterprise Ireland, and several private investors. After receiving €100k from the Irish-based accelerator, the NDRC based in Dogpatch Labs in Dublin in 2021, HiiKER is now focused on growing its community and expanding the team before launching into the US market in 2023.

What is HiiKER?

Founded in 2020 by Paul Finlay, and joined by co-founders Eoin Hamilton, Pete Britton, and Mark Finlay, these hiker-cum-hackers have combined their experience and passion to help guide nearly 400k hikers around the world. HiiKER has become known as one of the best places to find hiking trails and excellent quality maps from world’s top mapping providers.

The journey so far

Since 2020, HiiKER has been growing a loyal community of hikers and walkers worldwide. As of July 2022, the number of users on the HiiKER platforms has risen to over 380,000. 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.

Route to Market

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 want 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.”

The team is now enabling hikers to plan and share hikes with family and friends. “We are all about getting people outdoors in nature, and we are building tools to make that easier” says Paul Finlay, Hiiker CEO.

What do people in the industry say?

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

Sustainable Development

As well as the updated product features, HiiKER is expanding its efforts to support organisations that enable people to get outdoors. The HiiKER Trail Sustainability program is now an intricate part of the app, where trail organisations can receive direct donations from users at the critical point of trail usage.

Galeo Saintz, Founding Chair of the World Trails Network commented, “This is a wonderful step forward in integrating trail technology with fundraising and trail organizations. Now the many organizations 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 trail!”

Thoughts from the Fuel team

“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 is 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." Alexander Breeden, Fuel Ventures.

What’s next?

What's next now that Hiiker secures €500k investment? The milestone has been set at a Series A round in late 2023 / Early 2024. Until then, the founders will be focused on expanding the team, adding more engineers and production staff to continue to build and improve the platforms. Download the app Apple Store 👉 HERE

Play Store 👉 HERE

Looking for investment?

If you are an entrepreneur looking for pre-seed and seed investment please email me alexb@fuel.ventures or reach out to me on LinkedIn.

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