Hipcamp uses technology to get people away from technology.
The San Francisco-based startup provides a “people-powered platform” that unlocks access to private land for camping, glamping or just a beautiful spot to park your RV, as described by Alyssa Ravasio, founder and chief executive officer. Amid explosive growth in emerging markets, including Florida and Texas, the company has attracted a $25 million Series B investment at a valuation of $127 million.
Andrew Chen, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, has led the round and will join Hipcamp’s board of directors as part of the deal. Caterina Fake of Yes VC, Sarah Tavel of Benchmark, August Capital and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures also participated in the financing, which brings Hipcamp’s total funding to $41.8 million. We first covered Hipcamp in 2014, when the nascent startup raised a $2 million seed round led by AlphaTech.
A self-described internet nerd and avid camper, Ravasio loves the outdoors, as you might’ve guessed. She founded Hipcamp after becoming frustrated with the complex process that is identifying and booking campsites across the U.S.
“I couldn’t believe how difficult the whole process was,” Ravasio told TechCrunch. “I had one camping trip where I spent five hours doing research and almost gave up … I realized camping was broken and the internet could fix it.”
In 2013, Ravasio learned to code and built the first iteration of the Hipcamp platform, a comprehensive database of campsites that earns money by taking a commission made from each booking it facilitates. Today, the company has grown to 40 employees, with campsites in 300,000 sites across the U.S. and plans to expand internationally soon.
“We’re committed to getting people outside, and that’s really the guiding light of our expansion plans,” she said.
As for long-term plans, an Airbnb acquisition wouldn’t make sense, Ravasio explained: “I think going public and making Hipcamp a company that anyone can buy and own part of is exciting to me”