Hipcamp closes $57m Series C funding round

US: Online marketplace startup Hipcamp, which offers outdoor stays and camping experiences in rural areas, has closed a $57 million Series C funding round, taking its internal value to more than $300 million, over double the valuation it reached in its last round in 2019.

New investors participating in the round include Index Ventures and Bond Capital, on top of existing investors such as Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz and August Capital. The funding round is believed to have been closed on 21 December.

Private landowners primarily list campsites, glampsites, RV space, cabins for users to discover and book based on listing type, location, landscape, activities offered, and amenities via the Hipcamp website and app.

Founded in 2013, Hipcamp caters to a growing trend for domestic staycations, which took off as restrictions eased when case numbers were dropping last summer. According to analytics site Second Measure, the company’s transactions between June and August went up by more than 400 per cent on the same period in 2019, though bookings plummeted by up to 80 per cent at the early height of the pandemic.

The platform initially provided information about campsites but has diversified in recent years into RV parks, glampsites and yurts when it was able to sign up private landowners across the United States who were willing to offer out their outdoor properties on a short-term rental basis, earning it the title of “Airbnb of the Outdoors”. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has himself been quoted as saying that the company will focus more on outdoor travel and spaces from now on after its landmark IPO last month.

Prior to last week’s raise, Hipcamp had secured around $45 million in funding, valuing it at approximately $127 million. That figure included its most recent $25 million funding round in 2019 and a $9.5 million raise a year earlier.

Meanwhile in August, the startup acquired its Australian equivalent Youcamp, paving the way for further global expansion into Europe and other parts of the world.