A Telluride-based camping app searched for gold in October.
The Dyrt, which has collected more than 4 million photos, reviews and tips from 44,000 campgrounds across the country, raised $ 11 million in capital in October.
The camping startup plans to use the funds to double the size of its business, which currently has 40 employees, and increase its annual pro membership. The funding round was led by California-based Realization Capital Partners.
âOver the past five years, we’ve focused on conquering the most active camping community, which means we have more user-submitted photos, reviews and tips about campgrounds than anyone on the Internet, âsaid co-founder Kevin Long, who called from a South Carolina RV. “And, now that we’ve built this community, we’ve now activated our monetization strategy, which is The Dyrt Pro membership.”
The Dyrt was born out of the 2015 Telluride Venture Accelerator and founded by husband and wife, and avid campers, Long and Sarah Smith, after being frustrated that they couldn’t find adequate campground information online.
It’s now the # 1 ranked camping app on the Apple and Google Play app stores, and has 30 million annual visits between the app and the website, according to Long.
Smith and Long pick the top appraiser in each state at the end of each month to win prizes, which currently include $ 150 and $ 100 worth of gift cards from outdoor retailers.
âWhen you’re looking for an Airbnb, you want to see photos and reviews and know what you’re getting,â Long said. “Camping is no different.”
In addition to leaving reviews, videos, photos and tips for specific campgrounds, users can book a private campsite, glamping pitch or RV space directly on the app or website. . The Dyrt offers 1,557 private Colorado campgrounds with nearly 6,500 reviews.
The startup is also set to kick off site availability for many public campgrounds, which will give users the ability to see what’s available on specific dates and be transferred to the public campground for the actual reservation.
Last year, The Dyrt launched their pro annual subscription for $ 36 per year, which allows users to take advantage of discounts on camping, plan road trips, find free camping areas on public land, and to use the app offline.
Long said sales tripled in 2021 and users subscribe to the subscription every five minutes. It does not disclose the number of paying subscribers.
Prior to that, the app and website were making revenue from sponsored content from outdoor brands.
âIt was a great income to help build our community and expand our reach because we could take advantage of these outdoor brands,â Long said. âBut once we got bigger than a lot of these brands with our reach and email tracking, that’s when it was time to turn to a mainstream subscription app. . “
Smith and Long left their home in Portland and throughout 2021 traveled across the United States in an RV, using their subscription app as a guide. They started in Jenny Lake, Wyoming, which was the # 1 rated campground in the US on The Dyrt, and traveled through Colorado, Virginia, and Minnesota, among other states.
The company posted 11 job vacancies. Dyrt’s staff are remote, although Long has said they are targeting Colorado hires for the coming year. The founders tell employees that anyone can work from anywhere if they have strong internet service and can participate in a video call during regular business hours.
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