BookOutdoors, the travel tech startup aiming to get more people outdoors, announced it has launched in twelve states, with plans to quickly expand to the rest of the country and Canada. The launch comes on the heels of a $4 million seed funding round raised late last year and led by GreatPoint Ventures, with participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed fund, R-Squared Ventures, and former C-level executives from several of the largest travel and hospitality companies, such as Aman Bhutani, former president of Expedia (and now CEO of GoDaddy), and Brendan Bank, former CTO of Booking.com.
Founded in late 2021 by experienced tech entrepreneurs Brian Nolan (formerly co-founder of Sellbrite, acquired by GoDaddy), Roy Rubin (formerly founder of Magento, acquired by eBay then Adobe), and Roy Erez (formerly co-founder of Loop Commerce, acquired by Synchrony), together with top leaders in outdoor hospitality, the team is using their decades of experience to build a new, innovative marketplace platform that offers unmatched breadth of choice and an entirely elevated consumer experience, while driving discoverability and demand for property owners.
“We’re excited to support BookOutdoors in their mission to make it easier for people to experience and enjoy the outdoors,” said Andrew Perlman, managing partner at GreatPoint Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on early-stage companies. “We believe there is a large and untapped opportunity to vastly improve the outdoor travel planning experience. The BookOutdoors team has positioned themselves to lead the market.”
In 2021, camping accounted for 40% of all leisure trips taken with more than half of travelers (53%) including camping in some or all of their travel, according to the 2022 KOA North American Camping Report. However, unlike the experience for booking a hotel room, there is no single destination for searching all available outdoor travel accommodations, particularly at professionally-managed properties. Campground inventory is still very siloed for a variety of reasons, which, combined with outdated booking platforms and lack of modern online amenities, creates an extremely undesirable experience for the modern traveler. BookOutdoors is aiming to solve that problem.
“Talk to anyone who’s tried to plan and book a camping trip lately, and you’ll learn the experience is still pretty dreadful,” says Brian Nolan, BookOutdoors’ CEO. “Today’s guests actively crave a more comprehensive booking experience with modern features and benefits they’ve come to expect in the digital age. So we’re taking best practices from industries we know very well, like ecommerce and traditional hospitality, and applying it to outdoor travel, which is very fragmented and has traditionally been behind on technology.”
With benefits such as weather protection included on every eligible reservation, affordable travel insurance options, personal assistance by a concierge team, and a loyalty program to earn discounts and rewards, BookOutdoors is making it easier and more enjoyable for everyone to get outdoors. Plus, there are no booking fees or memberships required to book. For the ultimate in flexibility, travelers can add optional Cancel For Any Reason coverage, which also provides peace of mind to property owners who worry about loss of revenue from cancellations.
The company has partnered with some of the top reservation systems used by campground operators, such as NewBook and ResNexus, to offer platform integrations for rapid onboarding and data syncing. Owner-operators interested in listing their properties on BookOutdoors can visit bookoutdoors.com/partners to sign up.
Driven by the belief that the future is brighter when everyone spends more time outdoors, BookOutdoors makes planning and booking outdoor travel a more joyful, seamless experience, while fueling the growth and success of its partners. Guests can search and book thousands of designated tent campgrounds, RV parks, cabins, glamping resorts, and other outdoor stays, all with no membership or booking fees. For property owners, BookOutdoors works alongside their existing booking channels to help eliminate unsold site nights and deliver additional value.
For more information, visit bookoutdoors.com