HiiKER enables people to get outdoors and explore with confidence. We have built a mobile application which allows users to discover over 12,000 verified trails from around the world, plan a custom hike or track their adventures. Our community ha grown to over 300k hikers worldwide and we continue to grow.
Tell us about yourself?
I previously worked in media and sales. While I worked there, my good friend Paul was building an application to navigate on long-distance trails. As an avid hiker myself, I saw the opportunity to build this globally and do what others have yet to do which is build a worldwide community around it. Having some experience in community outreach and sustainable development, I saw this as the perfect match.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Back yourself, but know when to be humble. You don’t have all the answers and you’ll learn more when you stop assuming you know what’s best.
What problem does your business solve?
There are more people exploring the outdoors now than ever. Increasing the need for a trustworthy source of hiking trail information. We also link the organisations that are responsible for maintaining and developing trails to the trail users.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Paul was originally inspired by the fact that there was no single trustful source of information for a hiking trail in Ireland called the Wicklow Way. We are trying to take the pain of trying to find a trail and make a plan out of the preparation for a hike.
What is your magic sauce?
While our competition mainly regurgitate User Generated content as a way to capitalise on keywords, we only work with verified information from trusted sources – such as trail organisations and government bodies. We also provide them with much needed support to show trail usage and gather donations to fund ongoing development and maintenance.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We want to grow our platform to have over 500k verified trail worldwide and be the trusted partner for trail organisations around the world to promote hiking trails. We want to enable more people to get outdoors, that might not have had access to it before.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
We pivoted from a long-distance hiking app to a tool for all hikers. This was a major change in our development and one of the most difficult things was losing some of the loyal users we had on the previous app because of the change in some of the features. But in order for us to reach our goals and maintain our vision, these things happen. But we must always listen to our users.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
Download the app – try for yourself. We are very proud of what we have developed. There is a lot more work to do, but we are only getting started. Download the app for free now in the appstore and google playstore.