Venture Capital in Outdoor Hospitality: Opportunities and Challenges

December 28, 2023

Venture capital has become an essential source of funding for startups across various industries. In recent years, the outdoor hospitality industry has seen a surge in interest from venture capitalists looking to invest in businesses that offer unique accommodations and experiences for outdoor enthusiasts. However, securing venture capital funding in this sector can be challenging, especially for those without a proven track record.

This section will explore the concept of venture capital in the context of outdoor hospitality, discussing the potential opportunities and challenges for startups in this industry. It will also highlight the importance of attracting venture capital investment for outdoor hospitality businesses to scale and succeed.

Key Takeaways

  • Venture capital is a critical source of funding for startups in the outdoor hospitality industry.
  • The industry presents unique opportunities for innovation and growth, making it an attractive market for venture capitalists.
  • Challenges in securing venture capital funding include market saturation, regulatory hurdles, and the need for proof of concept.
  • A compelling business plan, a strong management team, and a scalable business model can increase the chances of attracting venture capital investment.
  • Due diligence is crucial for venture capital investors to mitigate risks and make informed investment decisions in outdoor hospitality startups.

Exploring Outdoor Hospitality and its Growth Potential

outdoor hospitality

Outdoor hospitality refers to the accommodation services provided outside, primarily for outdoor recreation, and includes campgrounds, RV parks, and glamping sites. This sector has been experiencing a steady rise in popularity over the years due to the increasing demand for outdoor activities and travel.

According to a recent survey by Kampgrounds of America, 61% of U.S. households camped at least once in their lifetime. Furthermore, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, camping activities have seen an increase in popularity, with more families and individuals seeking outdoor adventures.

The outdoor hospitality sector’s growth potential is vast, with opportunities for innovative startups and established companies to tap into the market’s growing demand. According to Grand View Research, the global camping and caravanning market is expected to reach $60.1 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2019 to 2026.

Year Number of Campers (in millions)
2019 78.8
2020 86.6
2021 91.3

The table above illustrates the growth in the number of campers in the U.S. from 2019 to 2021, showcasing a steady upward trend. Outdoor accommodations such as campgrounds and RV parks are essential components of the outdoor hospitality industry, providing adventure seekers with a comfortable and convenient base for exploring the outdoors.

The outdoor recreation market’s scope encompasses multiple segments, including hiking, fishing, kayaking, and more, all of which lend themselves to outdoor hospitality and its continued growth. Innovative startups have the opportunity to leverage technology and sustainable practices in creating unique guest experiences, thereby tapping into the sector’s immense potential.

The Role of Venture Capital in Fueling Innovation

Venture Capital and Investment

Venture capital plays a critical role in fueling innovation and supporting the growth of start-ups in various industries, including outdoor hospitality. Start-ups in outdoor hospitality require significant investments in infrastructure, technology, and marketing to scale their businesses and compete effectively in the market. Venture capital funding provides start-ups with the necessary resources, expertise, and strategic guidance to accelerate growth and overcome challenges.

One significant advantage of venture capital funding is that it allows start-ups to access larger amounts of capital without diluting their equity significantly. Venture capital investors typically invest in founding teams with high growth potential and innovative business models. Hence, aligning the goals of start-ups with those of the investors.

Investors not only invests in start-ups but also provides support in the form of mentorship, tapping into their extensive networks and expertise, providing critical insights, and guiding start-ups in overcoming challenges. This provides start-ups with the necessary support and resources to scale their business effectively.

Start-ups in outdoor hospitality often utilize technology to streamline their operations and enhance the guest experience. Venture capital investors provide start-ups with the necessary support to develop and implement innovative technology solutions that give them a competitive edge in the market. Additionally, investors understand the significance of sustainability and environmental considerations in the outdoor hospitality industry and encourage firms to adopt sustainable practices as part of their business models.

“Venture capital funding turns great ideas into significant innovations, and start-ups, which may have stumbled along the way, receive the support they need.”

Venture capitalists hope to identify start-ups with disruptive or innovative business models that have the potential to achieve significant growth while solving a critical problem. Venture capital in outdoor hospitality provides unique opportunities for innovative start-ups to revolutionize the industry while providing substantial returns to investors. As a result, venture capital has fuelled growth in outdoor hospitality, presenting start-ups with opportunities to scale and compete effectively in the market.

Opportunities for Venture Capital in Outdoor Hospitality

Venture capital presents numerous investment opportunities in the outdoor hospitality sector. With the growing popularity of outdoor recreation, there is an increasing demand for unique and sustainable accommodations. Startups in this industry have the potential to drive innovation in areas such as technology, sustainability, and guest experience.

One area of opportunity for venture capital investment is the development of technology-driven solutions. This includes software and hardware solutions that can enhance the guest experience, improve operational efficiency, and streamline management systems. For example, startups may develop smart campground management software that automates tasks such as booking, check-in/out, and resource allocation. Another innovative solution might be the development of sustainable eco-resorts that leverage renewable energy, innovative water management and recycling technologies, and earth-conscious material selection.

Another avenue for venture capital investment is the creation of unique guest experiences. Startups can differentiate themselves by offering experiences that are unavailable in traditional accommodations, such as glamping sites in unique locations, such as a treehouse or a floating platform, or outdoor entertainment and activity packages that offer unique experiences that are hard to replicate.

Opportunities for Venture Capital in Outdoor Hospitality Examples
Technology-driven solutions Smart campground management software, sustainable eco-resorts leveraging renewable energy, innovative water management and recycling technologies, and earth-conscious material selection
Unique guest experiences Glamping sites in unique locations like a treehouse or a floating platform, outdoor entertainment and activity packages that offer unique experiences that are hard to replicate

Venture capital investors who invest in outdoor accommodations will be able to benefit from tapping into a growing market. According to a report by the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation contributed $459.8 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product in 2019. As more people seek outdoor experiences, venture capitalists have the opportunity to fund startups that can help meet this demand.

The Challenges of Securing Venture Capital Funding for Outdoor Accommodations

Outdoor Accommodations

While venture capital funding can provide a significant boost to outdoor hospitality startups, securing it can be challenging. Funding is often scarce in the outdoor accommodations space, with investors preferring more established sectors. Additionally, outdoor hospitality startups may face hurdles such as market saturation, unfavorable regulations, and difficulty in proving their concept, especially if they are operating in a relatively niche market.

Market saturation is a common challenge, particularly in areas with an abundance of existing outdoor accommodations. In such areas, investors may not see the potential for significant returns on investment. Unfavorable regulations can also be a significant hindrance, with some local authorities implementing strict zoning laws and limiting the number of outdoor accommodations in specific areas.

In addition, venture capital investors may be hesitant to invest in a niche market without evidence of a successful business model. Some investors may require proof of concept or a significant track record of success before putting their money into a startup. This can make it challenging for outdoor hospitality startups that are just starting and have limited experience operating in the industry.

According to a recent report by RV Industry Association, the RV market saw a 31% YoY increase in sales in 2020 amid the pandemic’s travel restrictions, indicating the potential for growth in outdoor accommodations.

Despite these challenges, there are strategies outdoor hospitality startups can employ to attract venture capital funding. These include having a compelling business plan that addresses potential risks, building a strong management team, and establishing a scalable business model. By leveraging these strategies and emphasizing the growth potential of the outdoor hospitality sector, startups can position themselves for venture capital success.

Strategies for Attracting Venture Capital in Outdoor Hospitality

Venture Capital in Outdoor Hospitality

Securing venture capital is critical for outdoor hospitality start-ups looking to scale their business. Here are some strategies that could help attract venture capital investors:

  • Create a solid business plan: A compelling business plan that outlines the company’s objectives, strategy, and market potential is essential in attracting venture capital investors. The plan should carefully address the target market and demonstrate how the start-up plans to solve relevant industry problems.
  • Build a strong management team: Venture capital investors typically seek experienced and competent management teams that have a proven track record of success. Building a strong management team, therefore, is critical in attracting potential investors.
  • Develop a scalable business model: Investors seek start-ups that leverage technology for scalability and growth. Developing a scalable business model that can easily grow and adapt with market changes could help attract venture capital.
  • Showcase a promising return on investment (ROI): One of the primary objectives of venture capital investors is to earn a significant return on investment. Start-ups should, therefore, highlight the potential ROI for potential investors.
  • Pitch to reputable investors: Start-ups should focus on pitching to venture capital firms that have a history of investing in the outdoor hospitality sector. Contacting reputable investors who value and recognize the potential of outdoor hospitality start-ups could increase the chances of securing funding.

Implementing these strategies could improve the chances of attracting venture capital funding to fuel growth for outdoor hospitality start-ups.

Case Studies: Successful Venture Capital Investments in Outdoor Hospitality

In recent years, venture capital investment in outdoor hospitality has been on the rise, with several startups receiving funding and achieving notable growth and success. Here are two examples of successful venture capital investments in the outdoor accommodations industry:

Company Investment Success
Campspot $9 Million Series A Funding Campspot, a booking and management software platform for outdoor accommodations, raised $9 million in Series A funding led by global venture capital firm, Jump Capital. The company has since experienced significant growth and expansion, with its software now powering over 1,000 campgrounds across North America.
The Dyrt $2 Million Investment The Dyrt, a camping and RV trip planning app, secured $2 million in investment from Oregon Venture Fund. The app has since grown to become the most extensive camping review platform in the United States, with over one million user-submitted reviews and parks and campgrounds in its database.

These success stories demonstrate the potential for venture capital investment in the outdoor accommodations industry. With the right funding, startups in this sector can innovate and scale, disrupting traditional methods and providing unique guest experiences.

Mitigating Risks: Due Diligence for Venture Capital Investors

As with any investment, venture capital carries inherent risks that investors should be aware of before committing their funds. Due diligence is the process by which investors assess a potential investment to mitigate these risks and determine whether it aligns with their investment strategy.

For venture capital investors interested in the outdoor hospitality sector, due diligence is particularly important due to the unique challenges and nuances of the industry. Some of the key considerations for due diligence in this sector include:

Factor Key Considerations
Market Is the area already highly saturated with competition? What is the target market, and is it large enough to support the business’s growth?
Regulations Are there any legal or regulatory hurdles that the business may face? Does the startup have the necessary permits and licenses to operate?
Financials What is the current financial state of the business? Are revenue projections realistic, and is the pricing strategy sustainable?
Management Does the management team have relevant experience and a track record of success? Are they committed to the business’s success?
Technology Is the business leveraging technology to innovate and differentiate itself in the market? How does the technology benefit the company and its customers?
Sustainability Does the business have environmentally sustainable practices in place? How do these practices contribute to the business’s success?

Investors should take a comprehensive approach to due diligence, considering all of these factors and other relevant information to make an informed investment decision. This process may involve conducting site visits, reviewing financial statements, and consulting with industry experts.

Ultimately, due diligence is critical for mitigating risks and identifying potentially successful investments in the outdoor hospitality sector. By taking the time to thoroughly evaluate potential opportunities, venture capital investors can maximize their chances of success.


In conclusion, venture capital investment presents significant opportunities for startups in the outdoor hospitality industry. The growing popularity of outdoor recreation and the potential areas for innovation make this sector an attractive market for investors. However, securing funding can be challenging due to market saturation, regulatory hurdles, and the need for proof of concept.

To attract venture capital, startups need a compelling business plan, a strong management team, and a scalable business model. Investors should conduct due diligence and evaluate key factors before making investment decisions in startups in this sector.

Successful venture capital investments in the outdoor hospitality space have demonstrated the potential for growth and success in this industry. Overall, venture capital investment can drive innovation and fuel the growth of startups in the outdoor hospitality sector.


What is venture capital?

Venture capital is a form of private equity financing provided by investors to startup companies and small businesses with high growth potential. It typically involves a high level of risk but offers the potential for significant returns on investment.

How does venture capital work?

Venture capital firms, also known as venture capitalists, invest in startups and early-stage companies in exchange for equity ownership. They provide capital, expertise, and guidance to help these businesses grow and succeed. In return, venture capitalists aim to earn returns on their investments through successful exits, such as initial public offerings (IPOs) or acquisitions.

What are the potential opportunities for venture capital in outdoor hospitality?

There are several potential opportunities for venture capital investment in outdoor hospitality. These include investing in innovative technology solutions for reservation systems, enhancing guest experiences through unique amenities and activities, and supporting the development of sustainable practices in outdoor accommodations.

What challenges do outdoor hospitality startups face in securing venture capital funding?

Outdoor hospitality startups may face challenges in securing venture capital funding due to market saturation, the need for proof of concept in a relatively niche industry, and regulatory hurdles. Additionally, the seasonal nature of the industry and the limited scalability of some outdoor accommodations may also be factors that investors consider.

How can outdoor hospitality startups attract venture capital investment?

To attract venture capital investment, outdoor hospitality startups should develop a compelling business plan that highlights their unique value proposition and growth potential. They should also assemble a strong management team with relevant experience and demonstrate a scalable business model. Building strategic partnerships and showcasing a track record of success can also help attract investors.

Can you provide examples of successful venture capital investments in the outdoor hospitality sector?

Yes, there have been successful venture capital investments in the outdoor hospitality sector. For example, Hipcamp, an online marketplace for outdoor accommodations, raised significant funding from venture capital firms to expand their platform and enhance their services. Campspot, a reservation management system for campgrounds, also secured venture capital investment to fuel their growth and innovation.

What factors should venture capital investors consider when evaluating outdoor hospitality startups?

Venture capital investors should conduct thorough due diligence when evaluating outdoor hospitality startups. Key factors to consider include the market potential and growth opportunities, the competitive landscape, the strength of the management team, the scalability of the business model, and the ability to adapt to changing consumer demands and industry trends.

What is the role of venture capital in fueling innovation?

Venture capital plays a crucial role in fueling innovation by providing the necessary capital and support for startups to develop and scale new ideas and technologies. Through venture capital investment, innovative concepts in outdoor hospitality can be brought to market, creating opportunities for growth, job creation, and advancements in the industry.

What are the benefits of venture capital investment for outdoor hospitality startups?

Venture capital investment offers several benefits for outdoor hospitality startups. It provides access to capital for business expansion, expertise and guidance from experienced investors, and potential networking and partnership opportunities. Additionally, venture capital funding can help startups attract additional investors and increase their credibility in the market.

How can due diligence mitigate risks for venture capital investors in outdoor hospitality?

Due diligence is essential for venture capital investors in outdoor hospitality as it helps mitigate risks. Through thorough evaluation and analysis of the startup’s financials, market potential, competitive landscape, management team, and industry trends, investors can make informed investment decisions and identify potential red flags or challenges that could impact the success of their investment.