Gone Camping: Outdoorsy will use $50M funding to hire locally, expand internationally

by Kelly O'Halloran
January 18, 2019
outdoorsy austin team
photo provided by outdoorsy. photo credit: weston carls.

After raising $25 million from investors last year, Outdoorsy packed up shop and relocated its headquarters from the Bay Area to Austin.

While our city welcomed the peer-to-peer RV rental company with open arms, it seems investors, too, were eager for another piece of the action.

This week, Outdoorsy announced it has raised a whopping $50 million Series C led by Palo Alto-based Greenspring Associates. The round also included participation from existing investors Aviva Ventures, Altos Ventures, AutoTech Ventures and Tandem Capital.

Over the last three years, we’ve seen a 400 percent increase in bookings on Outdoorsy.”

 

For those counting — that’s $75 million in just under a year and over $80 million since Outdoorsy’s launch in 2015.

For investors, it’s a no-brainer.

“Over the last three years, we’ve seen a 400 percent increase in bookings on Outdoorsy, and our renter and owner customer base is growing exponentially,” said CEO Jeff Cavins. “The company is experiencing breakout velocity, which is exciting to investors.”

Those bookings have generated north of $250 million in business, Cavins said, and the site now includes more than 31,000 vehicles available for rent.

Part of that growth can be attributed to people’s swelling interest in vacationing in alternative accommodations outside of a hotel. Another factor is Outdoorsy’s evolving business model.

Over the past year, the startup has added new features like 24/7 roadside assistance for renters and up to $1 million in insurance protection for RV owners, both of which contributed to Outdoorsy becoming an industry leader, according to the company’s CMO.

Our 30-person-deep engineering and product team comes from a long history of internet marketplace innovation.”

“Our mission is to always put the customer first,” said CMO Jennifer Young. “When our rapidly growing customer base asked for these new services, we made it a top priority. Our 30-person-deep engineering and product team comes from a long history of internet marketplace innovation — with career history at companies like Amazon, Zillow, Angie’s List, Twitch, WaG, eBay and Tesla — and has learned that speed in innovation is important in order to hold a No. 1 position in a marketplace.”

It also seems to be a no-brainer for RV owners. Outdoorsy said that, on average, owners aren’t using their RVs for 97 percent of the year. So why not make a little side cash? Or in some cases, a heap of cash.

Cavins told TechCrunch that one of their RV owners made over $1 million in one year by renting out his vehicles. This specific person does own about 55 vehicles — but still.

For the average rental of about six days, Outdoorsy said owners can make about $1,900 over the six-day period.

With the new funding, Outdoorsy plans to increase the number of rentals to 65,000 units as well as deepen its services throughout New Zealand, Australia and Europe.

Cavins said they also plan to hire both in Austin and just north of here.

“We continue to add positions in the Austin area across marketing, executive leadership and engineering roles,” said Cavins. “We have also recently signed a lease for a global call center in Round Rock. Our customer support and trust and safety teams will be headquartered in Rock Rock starting February 1.”

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