In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and innovators working on our next generation of new business startups, social enterprises and small businesses.

At a glance

Founders: Aaron Halstead, Seb Mckinnon & Lochie King

Business: exploreGO

Founded: November 2018

HQ: Queenstown-Lakes

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

exploreGO is a global adventure-travel marketplace where customers can realize their adventure dreams and goals by connecting and booking with the best outdoor experiences. Currently offering hundreds of adventures in 21 countries, on all 7 Continents, across 83 different experience categories.

Adventure travel is an $852bn industry globally with a CAGR of 20.1%, yet it is fragmented and travellers can’t compare different operators in one place and know who to trust when booking. Research shows 80% of customers WANT to book adventures online. exploreGO has changed that by showcasing and comparing some of the most iconic global and local adventures with excellent track records, that customers can easily book online. They have also added an industry-leading ’1% give-back’ to local communities initiative to every booking, with recent research showing 83% of all travellers think sustainable travel is vital.

What’s the backstory for your business idea?

exploreGO was born out of a situation I encountered on the trek to Everest Base camp – a bucket list experience for thousands of people. I met a couple who were having a really bad time as their guide had left them, and they felt completely unsupported and unsafe as they didn’t know who to trust when they booked their base camp trek from a random operator (there are over 2000 operators offering this trip). I began to realize this wasn’t an isolated situation and even though many people had great experiences with adventure trips, some did not.

What programmes, learning or mentoring have been of assistance so far?

We are about to graduate Newchip accelerator – the world’s largest online startup accelerator. The Newchip Accelerator is a founder immersive, equity-free, online accelerator program for Early-Stage to Series A startups serious about scaling their businesses to the next level. Newchip provides VC mentorship and industry mastermind and development sessions. 2500+ Portfolio Companies, $2.2B+ raised by Alumni.


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