Hipcamp acquires Cool Camping to accelerate global expansion

US / UK: San Francisco-based outdoor stays booking platform Hipcamp has acquired UK-based online camping brand Cool Camping for an undisclosed sum, according to regulatory filings.

Although the acquisition has yet to be formally announced by the companies, documents filed on Companies House showed that Cool Camping founder Jonathan Knight, who also founded online glamping brand Glampingly.com and accommodation website CoolPlaces.co.uk, had ceased to be a person with significant control on 3 September 2021.

According to Skift, Hipcamp has acquired all shares of Cool Company’s parent firm Tripadee from previous investors.

Founded in 2013, Hipcamp unlocks access to private land for camping, glamping and other outdoor recreation. To date, the company has raised $97.5 million in funding from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark, August Capital, Index Ventures and Bond Capital, including a $57 million Series C funding round last January, which has enabled it to increase supply beyond campsite listings.

With this latest acquisition and the purchase of Australian equivalent Youcamp in August 2020, Hipcamp is paving the way for further expansion into Europe and other parts of the world to establish itself as the dominant outdoor travel agency globally. According to founder and CEO, Alyssa Ravasio, the startup now lists more than 470,000 campsites in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.

Purchasing Cool Camping allows Hipcamp to boost its supply by working with farmers and other landowners to pitch temporary campsites on their properties for up to 56 days at a time, while helping it to capitalise on the surge in demand for nature travel prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking in December, Ravasio told Travel Weekly about how Hipcamp was poised for future growth: “We are now in the position where we need to create the supply as the bookings come in. We are reaching out to more landowners and working to create more partnerships with campgrounds to meet the interest.

“This is a continuation of a really big, long-term paradigm shift. I think you’re seeing consumers move away, hopefully, from wanting to consume so many items and move toward having meaningful, unique, memorable experiences. And the outdoor travel industry is positioned beautifully as that continues.

“We’ve also seen so much interest in tree houses, we could add a millon treehouses and they would all be booked out all the time. I’m sure of it,” she added.