RV rental platform Outdoorsy says it will hit $1 billion in sales next month after seeing explosive growth during the pandemic

An RV. Shutterstock
  • RV rental platform Outdoorsy is set to hit $1 billion in sales next month.

  • Outdoorsy grew 4,600% from April to October, Jeff Cavins, cofounder and CEO of Outdoorsy, told Insider.

  • The company recently brought on strategic hires from Airbnb and Metromile.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

RV rental platform Outdoorsy is set to reach $1 billion in sales next month after seeing an outstanding year during the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced on Thursday.

While most of the travel industry skidded to a halt during COVID-19, road travel via camper vans and RVs began to thrive when states started lifting stay-at-home orders. As a result, Outdoorsy saw a 1,500% surge in bookings from the lowest booking day amid the coronavirus pandemic to the highest booking day during the second to last week of May, the company told Insider last year.

The company's popularity has only continued to trend upwards since. Prior to 2020, Outdoorsy was growing 400% year-over-year. However, from April 2020 to October, the company grew a whopping 4,600%, Jeff Cavins, cofounder and CEO of Outdoorsy, told Insider in an interview.

As a result, 44% of all of the company's business happened last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, expediting Outdoorsy's path towards the $1 billion mark, according to Cavins. And so far, it's only continuing to grow: despite the stereotype of a traditionally slow travel month in January, the bookings Outdoorsy has seen this month reflect that of summertime.

"COVID-19 brought in three years of RV awareness that we didn't have to go market to," Cavins said.

Cavins is now projecting that Outdoorsy will hit the $1 billion mark by early February if no other shakeups related to parks or the camping industry happen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This impending $1 billion milestone is a result of 37 million Outdoorsy members and over 3.2 million rental days.

According to Cavins, much of this growth can be attributed to millennials, among other age groups. According to data from Outdoorsy in December, millennial RV bookings spiked 70% from 2019 to 2020. The same demographic also made up 35% of Outdoorsy's first-time renters, which consisted of 90% of the platform's bookings last year.

"Millennials built Uber, and now millennials are building Outdoorsy," Cavins said.

According to Cavins, the impending milestone is like "selling your one-billionth Big Mac" and is "a testament to the success of the entrepreneurship that's happening on the platform," Cavins said.

"All that revenue is being enjoyed by mostly Americans. They've been able to take an asset that sat unused, in many cases 97% of the time, and they've turned it into an income stream, which is really important given the economy today."

Outdoorsy's strategic new hires from Airbnb and Metromile

rv national park
An RV. Shutterstock

This $1 billion announcement also comes on the heels of two new hires from Airbnb and MetroMile. These two new team members were strategically brought on to help with Outdoorsy's "industry-first initiatives," which include the growth of the platform's new insuretech division, Roamly.

According to Cavins, Outdoorsy is one of the only organizations in the world that owns its own RV insurance company backed by the likes of Liberty Mutual, Allstate, Progressive, and Lloyd's of London.

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Kevin Swint, Outdoorsy's new chief product officer, will be handling the platform's user experience and product design and suite. Swint was previously Airbnb's global head of product for experiences and host community, but left the company for Outdoorsy a few weeks before Airbnb's IPO, according to Cavins.

"Everything Swint has touched has been very successful," Cavins said. "What we saw in Swint was a product powerhouse."

Prior to Airbnb, Swint was at the Walt Disney Company building out Disney+. Before that, he was at Apple working on its movies and TVs services.

The second hire, Ryan Eldridge, is filling Outdoorsy's vice president of engineering for Roamly. Prior to joining the road travel company, Eldridge was at the insurtech group Metromile for seven years, leading its "platform, product, and mobile development." Now, Eldridge will help expand Outdoorsy's engineering team as the platform looks to double its number of developers, according to Cavins.

Looking ahead, growing Roamly isn't Outdoorsy's only objective. The company also plans to expand initiatives like its delivery segment, concierge desk, and business coach program, the latter aimed at helping large users continue to grow their business.

"Outdoor travel is one of the last major markets to be brought online, and as more people feel the magnetic pull of the outdoors and the benefits of road travel, we have a huge opportunity to make the outdoors accessible to people all over the globe who want to see and experience nature and adventure in their own unique way," Cavins said in a statement on the news release.

Read the original article on Business Insider