With solar power link ups, USB ports and a built-in smart speaker, all wrapped up in a aluminium, canvas and birch build, Jupe’s new off-grid shelters offer that specific experience for people who want to get outside but don’t want to be, well, too outside.
On the surface, it looks like a glamping pod and, well, it pretty much is a glamping pod, actually. But this company, which has seemingly sprung from nowhere, does seem to have an interesting business model.
Each pod, worth $17,500, is delivered directly and is ready to be used right away – even the bed comes supplied. They don’t require foundations or a platform either, so these things can pretty much be plonked anywhere. A minimum of eight pods need to be purchased with one order and the company appears able to supply dozens at a time.
Then there’s the rental and booking side of things. What really sets this company apart from other pod/shelter manufacturers is that they’ve created an Airbnb-style platform to handle all the bookings and rentals for the owner.
According to reports, the LA-based start-up, which employed designers from SpaceX and Tesla, has just picked up a $9.5 million investment from a “start-up accelerator company” called Y Combinator (where Airbnb got its start) and it’s now undergoing a large-scale recruitment process.
It also appears to be angling itself as a social enterprise. “Our infrastructure trust-based software platform that will allow communities to move, scale and pop up anywhere on the face of the planet,” writes Jupe on its website. “We call this “universal autonomous housing” (UAH). Longer term we want to get to helping the world with an entire city on a ship. We’ll be able to shift these around the world and reconfigure the fleet to whatever the greatest needs are on the planet at any place and time, whether that means providing dignified housing for refugees, or accommodating remote workers who want to stay in warm climates year round.”