If you are an entrepreneur or startup company, and you have been curious about the potential that an outdoor-centered recreation app could have for you, then this blog is for you.

As one of the most widely discussed new app trends, here at Xecuit, we are diving into the why — why have outdoor recreation apps been on the rise? And why are investors so keen on these new outdoor recreation app concepts?

Why Are Investors So Keen On Outdoor Recreation Apps?

In this new age of startups galore, great business venture ideas are a dime a dozen. It takes real action, and most importantly, investment to take an idea from being something intangible and developing it into a sound and successful business. You must be able to gather the interest of potential customers as well as investors simultaneously to take your startup idea to the next level. This is why it’s essential that your idea incorporates a topic of interest to current investors looking for a new venture.

The outdoor recreation industry is one that for a long period of time had been kept relatively separate from the rise of the mobile technology era. People went on outdoor adventures in order to escape from their responsibilities as well as technology, but now technology is becoming a major force within the outdoor community in one area specifically — mobile apps.

Now don’t get us wrong, exploring the outdoors while using a smartphone can still be a controversial topic to many — especially to those of the older generations — but this hasn’t stopped it from forming into an emerging new market for mobile app development. With apps focused on information about hiking trails, campgrounds, rock climbing, biking, backpacking, snowboarding and more, people are using mobile apps to navigate their adventure times more efficiently.

The question remains though: out of all of the incredible app ideas that are coming to fruition daily, why are investors so much more willing to throw money into outdoors-centered app ventures? We’re going to dive into the main reasons investors love this new niche market.

Outdoor Recreation Is A Huge Economical Force

According to the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the outdoor recreation industry is approximately two percent of the entire U.S. Gross Domestic Product at $374 billion a year spent by Americans. This is higher than even the oil and gas industry (1.4 percent).

These outdoor recreation expenditures apply to the expenses of taking trips outdoors to popular outdoor destinations as well as all of the gear and equipment purchased surrounding the wide variety of outdoor hobbies that exist today. The outdoor recreation economy continues to grow at a more rapid rate than the rest of the American economy. So, it goes without saying that the outdoors is something that people invest a great deal in, which means investors are more than willing to do so as well.

Americans spend billions of dollars at campgrounds and on camping related products alone every year. It only makes sense that they would be prone to download apps that focus on something that is a major focus of their lives. Here are a few examples of startups that have taken action in the outdoor realm.


Outdoorsy is a San Francisco-based RV rental startup that provides a community platform for RV owners to rent out their vehicles when they aren’t using them. The startup recently secured a $25 million investment in Series B round from Aviva and Altos Ventures.


This startup app took the idea of a hiking community and turned it into the largest collection of detailed, hand-curated trail maps along with photos and trail reviews with a community of over 7 million hikers. Outside of their app, they reach an additional 30 million people per year through their website. They currently sit with a $3 million of venture capital investments.


This Montana-based app company started with an idea for creating interactive and detailed map information for hunters and other outdoor adventurers to aid in planning and navigating their excursions. It serves as a replacement GPS when out in the wilderness in places with no cellular signal. They just recently closed a $20.3 million growth equity investment with Summit Partners.


As you can see, outdoor recreation startups are having little to no trouble acquiring funds from investors of all types — even those who are not known for having anything to do with the outdoors or app technology. This is because investors can see the potential in any business type, and the numbers don’t lie.

The only question that remains is, what kind of outdoors app are you going to come up with?

Already have a great idea for the next big outdoor recreation app? Talk to us about how our mobile app development services can be put to work for you.