Most people can agree that the outdoors and being connected with nature is a euphoric and natural feeling. Daniel Dubois grew up in this type of environment and this connection to adventure and the outdoors has never left him. Daniel founded ShareShed and Guiides.com, both adventure and travel related companies, that both share the mission of promoting this ‘one with nature’ mindset. These unique companies attracted interest for their unique and innovative qualities and now have been acquired by an adventure tech company called Leavetown. Acquisitions are nothing short of a big deal (no pun intended). Today we are discussing this incredible news with Daniel to get his thoughts on the matter:
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Vancouver in an entrepreneurial and outdoorsy family. I spent much of my childhood on Quadra Island playing outside in nature. My parents always encouraged me to follow my passion for entrepreneurship which led me to starting many different small businesses growing up.
Tell us a bit about ShareShed and Guiides.
Both companies exist to create a world of access to adventure. As I’m sure many of your readers already know, the world is in a bit of an environmental mess right now. What excites me most about the sharing economy is the power and potential we have to use technology to create a world of access over ownership. Not only can we reduce our consumption and environmental impact but we can also put maybe of the values that we share, such as freedom and community, back into our everyday life. David Suzuki said that people are more likely to care about our environment once we develop a relationship with nature. Our mission is to increase access to outdoor adventure so that it’s easy to develop a relationship with our natural environment.
ShareShed is a website to rent outdoor adventure gear of off locals. Let’s say you want to go kayaking but you don’t own a kayak. With ShareShed you can simply rent off a local in your area. We’re essentially Airbnb for outdoor adventure gear and ShareShed is making it easy to have fun outside.
Guiides.com is a separate business that we validated through hosting community events to build the ShareShed community. Guiides.com is a website to discover and book unique local adventure near you. For example, backcountry skiing, sunset stand up paddleboarding or sunrise hiking.
Tell us a bit about Leavetown, the company that acquired ShareShed and Guiides.
Leavetown is fast growing adventure tech company focused on accommodations. Leavetown has over 12,500 properties in over 60 destinations through Canada and the United States.
Why did you feel that by Leavetown acquiring your two companies would be the right move for you and your businesses?
My passion is for us to accomplish the mission of creating a world of access to adventure. Joining the Leavetown family gives us a better chance to accomplish our mission faster.
What was the process like for having your businesses acquired?
Our team was working on a partnership with another organization and they came back saying that they’d rather acquire us. I went back to one of my investors and he said: “One deal is no deal. See who else is interested.” We weren’t looking to be acquired but I brought this up to a few leaders and mentors and shortly after we had offers with different companies including two unicorns ($1B + valuation).
In general, as an entrepreneur, when do you know acquisition is right for you and your business?
Tough question and I’m sure it depends on many different aspects. I’d say your gut feeling is the most important sign.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who may be going through an acquisition or have thought about it to take their business to the next level?
I read a ton of books while going through this process. If I had to pick one I’d say Getting to Yes by Bruce Patton is a must.
What’s next for ShareShed/Guiides?
We have a phenomenal new hire who will be leading the future of ShareShed and Guiides.com while we integrate with Leavetown. He joined us from Airbnb, where he worked on Airbnb experiences. Before that he co-founded Adventure.com and also scaled G Adventures from $100mm to $500mm.
How will you continue to be involved in ShareShed and Guiides?
I’m staying on as an advisor to the company. I’ve joined full-time at Airbnb and really happy with how everything worked out. I’m humbled to be at Airbnb and excited to see Leavetown.com, ShareShed and Guiides.com put a dent in the universe.
As you can tell, this young entrepreneur is a breath of fresh air. Daniel, aside from being a successful founder of these two travel related start-ups, is also a Canadian delegate for the G20 YEA Summit (Young Entrepreneur Alliance). The G20 YEA is a collective organization that meets once a year, around the world, to discuss and bring forth solutions to the issues young entrepreneurs face when starting out. Futurpreneur Canada is a proud supporter of the summit and continues to partner in these discussions to provide young people a chance to follow their entrepreneurial dreams. This year’s summit happened in Berlin, Germany. Read more about it here.
Written by: Sara Pivato, Social Media and Content Intern, Futurpreneur Canada