iBackpacker hero

iBackpacker is a marketplace where employers list work opportunities and backpackers use a centralised profile to effectively demonstrate their skills and wants, applying for jobs much more easily than anywhere else.

iBackpacker & SEED

iBackpacker founder Shane Martz engaged with SEED co-founders Chris and Mike to make his idea a reality.

Shane was looking for a design and tech partner who could help him take his product to the next level.

To do this, SEED supported Shane in building a Pitch Deck and shopped it around together to successfully close iBackpacker's first outside investment.

Before long, a strong and ongoing partnership was formed. In fact, we closed a Series A round together in May, 2016 to add and improve many features, while helping to augment the growth engine of the platform.


Persona Development

Without users, there is no business. Without the business, there is no technology to develop.
Business employer


Business employer


User Research

We remove assumptions and get to know the users.




Phone calls

phone calls

Strategy Workshops & Tools

Revenue Strategy

Together we redefined the business model and its value proposition, forming a roadmap for implementing, testing and iterating on how and when to monetise, and how to articulate the features and benefits conveyed to a purchaser.

growth strategy

We looked at the wants and needs of employers and backpackers (what, where, why and how) and outlined a plan to test and measure the implementation of marketing and growth hacking strategies for acquiring new users.


With a product development and growth pathway, SEED, engaging with various Angel Investors and Venture Funds successfully raised a seed round for the re-development of iBackpacker. SEED joined as Venture Tech partner responsible for actioning and implementing the strategy, as well as earning a minority equity share of the business. This funding allowed the project to move forward into the implementation phase of Product Development, beginning with User Experience.

about ibackpacker

iBackpacker is the job app for backpackers in Australia. iBackpacker is the only resource you need to get jobs while you travel, with local job boards, one touch applying, and a rate and review system.

our role

SEED partnered with iBackpacker to help raise funding for redevelopment of the platform allowing iBackpacker to automate features and test new revenue streams.

We outlined a strategy for the business and implemented the technology for iBackpacker to successfully grow. SEED provided a Venture Tech service helping to grow iBackpacker in the backpacker market, by providing branding and communications, visual design, web development and growth strategy services.

Design & Front-End Development

User experience

We prototyped screens that clearly distinguish between each side of the market (employers and backpackers) and provided a flow that accorded with everything we learned from interviewing early users on both sides.


We matched the common wants and needs of the users to the most recently iterated version of the business values, storytelling around the identified archetypes of iBackpacker users. This transformed the overall look and feel of the platform, with a significant update and refresh of all visual design assets.


Based on user feedback and the branding and communication guidelines, we were able to clarify the style guide for iBackpacker and update the platform based on the user experience design. We also implemented print collateral as part of the overall growth strategy, intersecting with the branding and communication guidelines.
iBackpacker app icon
iPhone iBackpacker


The main point of reference when entering the platform for both user types. By mapping employer and backpacker journeys, we clarified the user needs and allowed the application to respond accordingly to the appropriate user, whether it was easy access to backpackers for a business user or access to jobs for a backpacker. Through an understanding of the user we were able to clarify the platform and develop it, by removing many previously discovered pain points, and leveraging a design that flowed in line with the aforementioned needs.

Home screen feed

Employer/Backpacker Profile

To accommodate business needs, we carefully selected the information shown to both user groups, ensuring the barebones offering was valuable, but gave the opportunity to purchase a premium offering, allowing both sides of the market to be power users of the platform. Recently, we’ve ensured that premium paying users on both sides of the market are featured prominently.

Profile screen

Choose Your Job Category

We were able to introduce work categories and location data, enabling backpackers to target their interests and easily apply for jobs with the right businesses. This is of course very beneficial for employers, too.

job category

employer profile

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Tech Implementation

Backpacker view

Business view

Web Application / Website

We built iBackpacker as a mobile responsive application which reduced the downtime to market and allowed for the implementation of data tracking tools so that the platform can be further optimised for conversion in the future.

Android screen
iPhone screen

Android & iOS

iBackpacker mobile apps required an update to meet the identified functionality requirements. To get to market, our strategy was to develop a responsive web application, wrapping the new apps in a container so they could be deployed to iOS and Android.

Using React, we were able to develop functional code on the web application, which was easily portable to a native mobile version using React Native.


react native

We chose React.js to develop the web application because of its components based architecture.

To reduce waste we leveraged the existing app's PHP API, bolstering it with a Node.js backed API to cater for new and future functionality.

iBackpacker was built, tested and deployed using Docker to ensure a continuous delivery cycle, meaning we can code up a new feature and deploy in mere minutes instead of days or weeks.

The Results

apple store
result screen
play store

iBackpacker has seen a significant increase in user sign-ups, with approximately 1000 new backpackers and 100 new employees per week in May, 2016. Conversion rate (%) in the form of jobs filled is also steadily increasing with feature improvements.

All internal feedback has been positive around the new application, and the flow of transactions through iBackpacker between backpackers and employers.

apple store
result screen
play store


shane martz
"Working with SEED as a Venture Tech partner has contributed to a big part of the growth of iBackpacker. SEED brought to the business, strategy, user experience design and development skills. The SEED team worked alongside iBackpacker to launch a new platform and get it to profitability. I look forward to continuing the journey we started with SEED and seeing iBackpacker grow in value for our users, and as a business, as we move into the next phase of growth together."

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