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Boating holidays have always been popular among the rich and the famous! Well, right now the scenario is changing, thanks to the increasing boat and yacht sharing platforms.
You don’t have to be rich!
With the rise of a peer-to-peer boat sharing platform, what was once called an expensive activity is now available to everyone without the added cost of ownership. Smelling an opportunity in this tiny niche market, several startups around the world are positioning themselves to be the next big thing by seeking capital.
Europe is a leading market for the boat sharing and some reputed players are now expanding in the US market sensing some excellent opportunity. One such reputed platform is Paris-based Click&Boat, founded by Edouard Gorioux and Jeremy Bismutha in 2013.
Setting sail for new shores!
In a recent development, Click&Boat, which describes itself as the‘Airbnb for boats’ has expanded its operation in Miami. Notably, the company has hired a US-based team to implement its expansion plan focusing on the key US boating destinations including Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Annapolis. At present, the company has around 350 boats listed in Miami and over 400 in the state of Florida.
Access to sea life!
Organically grown through word-of-mouth referrals, the startup enjoys a very strong presence in major boating destinations like the Balearic Islands, the French Riviera, Italy, Croatia, and Greece. Further, City & Boat acts as online matchmakers between owners whose vessels are sitting idle and the boatless masses yearning to get on the water.
“As a European company, we can do more with less. We are just used to that,” said Jeremy Bismuth, Click&Boat co-founder.
Fifth largest market with 338% rise!
Furthermore, US is listed as Click&Boat’s fifth largest market just two years after the launch. Last summer the company saw bookings by US customers increase by 338% compared to 2017, while global bookings increased by 109%. Click&Boat has raised a total of €5.7M in funding over 4 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Jun 12, 2018, from a Series B round.
Uberisation is becoming professional
Soon after car rentals had become popular, many boat owners started listing their boats in return for significant financial gain. It is evident that there is a real need for boat owners who sometimes sail less, want to make their expensive passion a little easier on the pocket. When it comes to Click&Boat, this platform offers access to range of options including charter yachts, sailboats, motorboats, RIBs, barges, catamarans and jet skis.
In the upcoming days, the company is planning to hire over 50 employees around the globe including the US, the UK and other European countries. Notably, the company opened a new office in Marseille last month to cement its stand in the boat sharing industry in Europe.
Edouard Gorioux, Click&Boat co-founder:
We picked Miami because of its strategic location in Florida, its reputation as a boating hub that hosts, the prestigious Miami International Boat Show and the city’s sheer vibrancy.
At present people want to do crazy things with social media and smartphones camera in their hands. In this case, there is no better way to do it other than gliding over the waves in a private boat, even if it’s for an hour. What say?
Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.