The acquisition and expansion in European markets for Borrow A Boat follow its launches in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in 2021, as well as the acquisition of specialist charter brokerage Helm. With this development, the company will bring an additional 5,000+ boats to the marketplace, as well as a 100,000+ strong customer base.
Marketplace for boat rentals
Founded in 2014 by Thijs Janssen, Dennis van Kappen, and Floris van Hoogenhuyze, Barqo is a P2P boat-sharing platform in the Netherlands. The platform connects captains who have a boat to sailors who want to explore the seas. The company aims to make sailing accessible, sustainable, and lucrative.
In June 2021, Barqo inked a deal with Samboat, a Bordeaux-based online marketplace for P2P boat rentals and yacht charters, to create the most active and largest range of boats in Europe.
Speaking on the development, Thijs Janssen says, “This acquisition will strengthen Barqo’s position in the Dutch market and will fuel the growth into other European markets, thanks to the high level of synergy that our companies have together. Our system and Borrow A Boat’s ambition are a very good match.”
Moving into the European market
Borrow A Boat is a marketplace for boat charter worldwide featuring peer-to-peer listings. Established in 2016 by boat enthusiasts, it currently lists over 35,000 boats in more than 65 countries.
Matt Ovenden, founder at Borrow A Boat, says, “After a successful 2021, including securing over £1M in investment via crowdfunding, we’re thrilled to have kicked off the year with such a firm move into the European market.”
According to Ovenden, Barqo was founded with the same mission as Borrow A Boat – a team of boating enthusiasts keen to share the joy of boating by making it more accessible, affordable, flexible, and inclusive for all. Therefore the company is looking to open up boating to even more people worldwide.
“This acquisition further reinforces our position as one of the world’s leading yacht charter marketplaces and we’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2022 brings,” adds Ovenden.
Boat rentals and yacht charters worldwide
Founded in 2016 by Matt Ovenden, Borrow A Boat is a yacht and boat charter portal for boat owners, charter companies, and those wishing to take a boat out. The platform helps find and rent boats of all sorts, from a canal and riverboat across Europe to a sailing boat, motor boat, catamaran, including luxury yachts and superyachts.
The company says, “We believe boating should be available to everyone, so no matter your boating skills or experience you can arrange anything from a bareboat yacht charter to a fully crewed gulet or luxury yacht charter in a few moments. If you don’t have the confidence or sailing experience we can arrange a skipper in most cases too.”
Borrow A Boat has raised over £4.8M in funding to date from a mixture of crowdfunding, private investors, and venture capital investors, and is now planning a potential IPO this year – which will be a world-first for a boat charter marketplace.