Austin's Jonathan Newar Lands on Forbes' "30 Under 30" for Revolutionizing Outdoor Adventure Bookings

Austin's Jonathan Newar Lands on Forbes' "30 Under 30" for Revolutionizing Outdoor Adventure BookingsSource: Captain Experience
Natalie Petrovich
Published on December 05, 2023

A young Austin entrepreneur, Jonathan Newar, has grabbed a coveted spot on Forbes' 2024 "30 Under 30" list in the "Consumer Technology" category, as KVUE reports. The 29-year-old co-founded Captain Experiences, an online platform that simplifies booking outdoor hunting and fishing trips—a venture that has attracted over $8 million in bookings since its inception in 2020.

Initially stumped while planning a fishing excursion, Newar turned his frustration into innovation, realizing the lack of easy access to trip-planning resources. Having tackled endless phone tags and unresponsive charter services, he launched Captain Experiences to cater to adventurers with the convenience found in services like Airbnb, according to an interview with the Austin American-Statesman. Moving to Austin in 2019 to tap the startup scene, Newar and his partner developed a service that now boasts a network of 1,300 guides, offering a seamless booking experience.

Captain Experiences has experienced a significant surge in the outdoor activities sector, achieving roughly 200,000 outdoor hours for clients eager to escape indoor confines, a figure Newar shared with Forbes. The company, which has expanded from fishing to hunting and is eyeing other outdoor pursuits, secures a profit through commissions from each successful booking on its growing platform. Newar told KVUE about their sizeable funding, highlighting contributions from noted investors such as Bullish and Andrew Chen of Andreessen Horowitz.

Despite the pandemic's initial strife on the industry and the unfortunate timing of Captain Experiences' launch during the peak of COVID-19 restrictions, the company prevailed, capitalizing on people's pent-up desire to engage in outdoor activities, which created a boom in demand once boat ramps reopened, as shared in Newar's interview with the Austin American-Statesman.