Ombu Adventures

Ombu Adventures
Epic adventures led by local experts
Sherman Oaks, California, United States United States
  • Overview
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Company description

Ombu is an online marketplace that empowers local outdoor guides to create and lead their own experiences.

Since Ombu soft-launched in Los Angeles earlier this year, Ombu guides have led amazing experiences to destinations like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park and Zion National Park. We released in January to test the idea, validate the market and understand both our guides and customers better.

The 263B adventure tourism industry consists of many traditional companies with outdated technology and business models. Unlike traditional outdoor tour companies, Ombu focuses on providing a truly authentic and social experience - think making s’mores around a campfire with friends and locals, not packed into a bus filled with a hundred tourists.

As an online platform with less overhead than a traditional outdoor tour operator, Ombu’s trips are often much more affordable. A trip to Zion National Park through Backroads costs $2,200; an Ombu guide earlier this year led a trip there for $339. In addition, the guide earned three times what they normally would have earned working for a traditional tour operator.

Creating an online marketplace to connect buyers and sellers - in our case, local guides and prospective adventurers - is not anything new, but it's the application of it that gets us excited.

People deep in the outdoor industry often see technology as a negative, but we believe it can enhance the experience. We plan to build a data-driven platform that makes it easy to find the perfect guide, destination, and social group of people. Using APIs like Wikitravel and Alltrails, we will empower guides to create well-planned itineraries in ten minutes or less. We see AR as an educational tool during hikes - imagine a time-lapse overlaid on your view of the Grand Canyon, showing it form over millions of years.

Our mission at Ombu is to make the world more accessible to more people. By connecting travel-hungry users to the untapped market of outdoor guides through a unique, high-quality user experience, we believe that we can not only transform an entire industry - we can expand people's horizons beyond what they otherwise would be able to do on their own.


Business model

Ombu is a 2-sided platform, connecting outdoor guides to As with many marketplaces, Ombu has a transaction fee model. We currently charge an additional 20% fee for every transaction taken on the platform.

In addition, as the primary platform for outdoor experiences, we plan to become a point of sale for gear, equipment and apparel, partnering with brand-aligned companies that could be desirable for our current users. Through this model, we will also take a percent fee for every sale.

Competitive advantage

We've discovered that the marketplace business model is more efficient than what traditional tour operators have. Our online platform empowers outdoor guides to create and sell their own trips, allowing them to earn more than they normally would working for a traditional tour operators. Our users, through the same model, have not only saved money, but also discovered more authentic and social experiences than the traditional tour bus experience.

In addition, the outdoor industry has traditionally shunned technology - at Ombu, we plan to embrace it. Quick booking, social profiles, achievements and relevant content enhances the typical outdoor group experience, making it more social and educational for our users.