Making summer plans? Looking for something a little more than just a place to stay? Then try Venku.
Venku is an online platform that connects outdoor-lovers with outdoor experiences in their area or an area they plan to visit.
Founded by Murielle Gaither in Cape Girardeau, Mo., her mission is to help get people outdoors and have more outdoor experiences.
“The problem that we have seen is that unless you know exactly what you’re looking for you will not find certain activities, and we wanted to fix that,” said Gaither, founder and CEO of Venku.
“Let’s take wild horses, for example. By using Venku, a local host expert can help you find out about where to find wild horses and tell you what else you can experience in a particular area.”
Whether it’s fishing, hiking, hunting, exploring, horseback riding or anything else outdoor related, Venku helps people gain access to outdoor experiences by helping people across the country or county connect with expert hosts ready to take them on an adventure.
“We started the company in 2019, but really added listings in 2020 and then in July of 2020 we started matching customers with our hosts and the experiences they offer,” said Gaither.
“We were really lucky with the pandemic that people were still able to get outside and go do outdoor activities.”
It all started when Gaither’s family was looking for something to market their private land that has been handed down for generations.
“About that time AirBnB was really taking off and we wondered if there was something out there for private land,” said Gaither.
Her family realized there was not and that if they wanted to monetize the recreational aspect of their property, they would have to create their own website and market those experiences.
Which is exactly what they did.
“We learned pretty quick that there are many people like us who found it challenging to market their properties,” said Gaither.