Adrien and I created YESCAPA in May 2012, with a clear aim in mind that has helped us in all our decision-making; to spark interest in European touring holidays, at the same time making them safer and easier, by creating a trusted space for the members of our community to interact.
Adrien Pinson (left) and Benoît Panel (right), co-founders of Yescapa
We want to change the way that travelers (the motorhome and campervan renters) see their European holidays. We want to give everyone the possibility to choose affordable and trustworthy touring holidays via a respectful and friendly community.
We want the owners of the rental vehicles available to share their experience and passion for the world of motorhoming with their renters. We want these vehicle owners to feel at ease in this win-win situation that we are offering them, which allows to cover a part of the vehicle’s maintenance cost with the help of the rest of the Yescapa community.
Our chances of success were quite slim when we first started out from the living room of my apartment in Bordeaux, equipped with second-hand computers and persuaded that the advantages of the sharing economy would allow us to offer owners of expensive vehicles revolutionary benefits by letting other members use their vehicle. This means that the renter can avoid the many obstacles that they face when using traditional rental methods.
In 2012, Airbnb yet have an office in Europe, Blablacar was still called Covoiturage.fr and the sharing economy was just starting out.
How could we create the digital tool that we dreamed of, that would allow us to easily manage various tasks? How could we make ourselves well known to our future community? How could we gain the trust that we needed that would allow two people who have never met before to trust the other with valuable things (one the one hand, a vehicle costing tens of thousands of Euros and on the other, the success and smooth running of a well planned and highly sought-after holiday)? How could we provide a quality customer service to users coming from more than 74 different countries?
Yescapa first gained the trust of its French users and has since improved by listening closely to their opinions. Yescapa has been able to grow and expand with the arrival of its first temem members, a group of young men and women full of energy and passionate about our clients’ satisfaction, through aiming towards our goal; of making European touring holidays more popular, simpler and safer thanks to a community based on trust.
With 500 completed rental days in 2012 and almost 15,000 in 2014, our results have helped us receive financial support and first-hand advice from French entrepreneurs, with which we have developed our services towards an even better offer and expand into Spain and Germany. The skills of these experienced people fit well with our energy: the chairpersons of Entreparticuliers.com and Blablacar have advised us on how to increase our expertise in areas that they master well, the former Customer Service Manager for Voyages SNCF (the national train network in France) has allowed us to perfect our organisation in this domain. It’s a real team effort that has allowed us to improve in every aspect and provide a better offer to our community of users!
Today, Yescapa is a team of 32 people and of 8 different nationalities who work on making our users happy. The over 3,000 owners signed up to our site have earned more than €6 million Euros by sharing their vehicle and their passion for touring holidays without boundaries. Our travelers have completed more than 100,000 rental days, or almost 290 years of non-stop holidays!
Today, we have some great news to share with you, which will will help us considerably to go even further and offer you the best experience possible.
MAIF has been Yescapa’s insurance partner since this Spring of 2016. Following this collaboration agreement, MAIF has now chosen to commit to invest in Yescapa’s development. Based on Yescapa’s model of the sharing economy, MAIF supports alternative ways of creating and sharing value that highlight MAIF’s specific fundamental values, such as the power of the collective, mutualism and trust.
Within this framework, they have joined Yescapa after having helped French collaborative platforms such as GuestToGuest, ZenPark, Koolicar, Samboat or JeStocke achieve success.
I bet one question is on the tip of your tongue: how will this important sum help us?
You users are accessing our site from a tablet or a smartphone more and more often. After having been the first actor in Europe to offer you an application dedicated to motorhome and caravan rental, we are going to reinforce our tech tools to give you access to very useful services while on the go…we bet that you’ll really like this new addition!
18 months after our launch in Spain, we now offer the largest fleet of live-in vehicles in the country. Our launch in Germany that started in April is promising. Our ambition is to let you make the most of a community of trust for your holidays that can take you all over Europe. Your travels don’t have to stop at country borders, so neither do our services.
You are more than 2.5 million people to have visited Yescapa in 2016, a sign that touring holidays attract a lot of people. But we’ll have to work enthusiastically to make ourselves known to the hundreds of millions of Europeans that set off on holiday and the millions of owners of live-in vehicles whose vehicle is costing them a lot every month, even though it’s only being used a few days a year.
Each service that YESCAPA offers its users costs and because we’ve chosen to give you the best service at a low price, we lose money every year. At the same time, there are more and more of you joining the Yescapa community. We will be stable in France in 2016, but will not make a profit, and so this investment is essential to allow us to advance and to further improve the service that you already know and enjoy.
You’ve heard it, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your membership and support. We really value your trust and are working to make the “road trip”, the great times to be had with the family or friends and the trust between Yescapers shared with as many people as possible in the future.
Thank you for your support and your loyalty.
Benoît Panel, co-founder and CEO
To go further
St Andrew’s Day is celebrated on the feast day of St Andrew (November 30th). As we look forward to this year’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations it’s important to know the history behind this national day. St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland whose feast day has been celebrated for over a thousand years. St Andrew's philosophy was simple: share what you have with those less fortunate and be kind to each other. Each year we celebrate these principles with a host of parties and special events for everyone to enjoy! The day is usually marked with a celebration of Scottish culture, including dancing, music, food and drink, with parties going on long into the cold winter night. If you’re visiting Scotland during this time or you’re a local looking to experience something different this year, their is plenty on the program.
Durham city Durham is a city of roughly 50,000 people and is located on the Northern East Coast of England, which is about 3 hours away from London by train and two hours from Edinburg. You can also easily reach Durham by motorhome or campervan, no matter where you are in the UK, giving you the freedom to stop anywhere along the way and even the option to bring your pets along should you wish to! Once in Durham, public transport is available to reach the city centre with the ‘hop-on, hop-off’ Cathedral bus, which connects the train station and the Cathedral of Durham.
Over than 30.000 people spend their holidays in a motorhome every year. Thanks to your photos and videos we can take part in your adventures and your friends feel inspired for their upcoming vacation. What kind of photos can I post? It’s up to you to choose the photos you want to share with us. However, there are some conditions to win our amazing prizes Your photo must: contain #Yescapa mention Yescapa Show one of the following things: A motorhome, a campervan or a converted van The landscape The travellers You can also add videos if you prefer! To make sure our team will see your photos it is necessary to include #Yescapa and to mention Yescapa. Let your imagination run free - You can capture individual elements of the vehicle or your trip for example.