Happier Camper Is a Hit with COVID Campers. It's Raised $3.7M to Grow.

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Happier Camper Is a Hit with COVID Campers. It's Raised $3.7M to Grow.

Ryan Edwards, the co-founder of Happier Camper, said he's asked all the time if his company leans on influencer marketing to promote their vintage-style trailers beloved by millennials.

With a waitlist six months out and demand growing from hotel-weary travelers, he said it isn't a priority yet.

"We almost don't need to," said Edwards.

That's because the $25,000 to $50,000 custom trailers have been a hit with a loyal fan base, and rising demand during the pandemic has only helped. Orders for compact trailers at the lower price end, including Happier Camper's 75-square-foot camper, are growing as newbie road trippers look for COVID-safe travels.

The L.A.-based manufacturing startup closed a $3.7 million round last week that will help it fulfill its backorders and Edwards said he's already looking to raise a second round.

The RV Industry Association, which tracks RV manufacturing, said it's seen a spurt in new RV customers doubling from about a quarter of all buyers to 55% this year. Even though manufacturing facilities had been closed due to the pandemic, RV producers report record sales.

"They provide the freedom to still travel while allowing you to control your environment," Geraci said. "As states opened up after having been in lockdown, people flocked to RV dealerships."

Edwards wouldn't disclose the investors but said the round was led by the same angel investors and small boutiques that will help Happier Camper close a second at the top of next year.

The colorful, fiberglass campers are among the smallest on the market, and come filled with a set of modular cubes that Edwards compares to Legos. You can reconfigure the pieces inside the camper — to construct a bed, for example — or bring them outside for seating. The kitchenette unit was built to move around, too.

Unlike traditional RVs or Airstreams, which Edwards see as his biggest competitor, these lightweight models attach to almost any four cylinder car with a hitch. They start at around the same price of a mid-range sedan depending on the model and add-on features.

"Someone who's never towed a trailer in their life can quickly and efficiently learn," he said. "It provides this self sufficiency and autonomy."

Geraci said travel trailers like the ones Happier Camper sells cost less and generally attract a younger demographic of buyers. Customers 45 and under were already the fastest growing group of RV owners before this year. The pandemic, she said, "has supercharged that."

The industry is also banking on this new wave of trailer and RV customers that they hope to make lifetime consumers.

"As they fall in love with this lifestyle and this amazing community, they're going to look to trade those units and get the next best one," she said. "We believe many of those will be RV-ers for life."


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Greater Good Health Raises $10 Million To Fix America’s Doctor Shortage

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Greater Good Health Raises $10 Million To Fix America’s Doctor Shortage
Courtesy of Greater Good Health

The pandemic highlighted what’s been a growing trend for years: Medical students are prioritizing high-paying specialty fields over primary care, leading to a shortage of primary care doctors who take care of a patient’s day-to-day health concerns. These physicians are a cornerstone of preventative health care, which when addressed can lower health care costs for patients, insurers and the government. But there’s a massive shortage of doctors all over the country, and the pipeline for primary care physicians is even weaker.

One local startup is offering a possible answer to this supply squeeze: nurse practitioners.

On Wednesday, Manhattan Beach-based Greater Good Health unveiled a $10 million Series A funding round led by LRVHealth, which adds to the startup’s $3 million seed round last year. The company employs nurse practitioners and pairs them with doctor’s offices and medical clinics; this allows nurse practitioners to take on patients who would otherwise have to wait weeks, or even months, to see a doctor.

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Plus Capital Partner Amanda Groves on Celebrity Equity Investments

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
PLUS Capital​’s Amanda Groves.
Courtesy of Amanda Groves.

On this episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, Amanda Groves talks about how PLUS Capital advises celebrity investors and why more high-profile individuals are choosing to invest instead of endorse.

As a partner at PLUS, Groves works with over 70 artists and athletes, helping to guide their investment strategies. PLUS advises their talent roster to combine their financial capital with their social capital and focus on five investment areas: the future of work, future of education, health and wellness, the conscious consumer and sustainability.

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Rivian Stock Roller Coaster Continues as Amazon Van Delivery Faces Delays

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Rivian Stock Roller Coaster Continues as Amazon Van Delivery Faces Delays
Courtesy of Rivian.

Rivian’s stock lost 7% yesterday on the back of news that the company could face delays in fulfilling Amazon’s order for a fleet of electric delivery vans due to legal issues with a supplier. The electric vehicle maker is suing Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) over a pricing dispute related to the seats that the supplier promised, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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