UK: Boat rental and yacht charter marketplace, Borrow A Boat, has raised over £1 million on investment crowdfunding platform Seedrs, surpassing the £750,000 target that it had set when going live 24 hours earlier.
The raise follows follows accelerating growth and revenues in 2022 so far, with expansion into a number of new countries and three competitor acquisitions in the last 12 months – Helm, Barqo and Beds on Board.
Setting out to digitise on a global charter market that is set to be worth $30 billion annually by 2027, Borrow A Boat wants to make boating “more accessible, affordable, flexible and inclusive for all”, to help drive participation and make the chartering process more simple and efficient.
In 2021, following a year where venture capital investment in the travel industry had dropped by 55 per cent, the company raised £1.5 million which enabled its expansion into the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and facilitated its acquisition of three competitors in the market.
Borrow A Boat is also currently targeting a “world first” IPO for a boat charter marketplace, which is planned for 2023.
Matt Ovenden, founder and CEO of Borrow A Boat, said: “We are living through a revolution in marketplaces, and believe this should extend to the boating world. Renting a boat should be as easy as booking a hotel, flight or train.
“We, as a business, have made huge strides forward in the last six months – continually smashing our all-time sales records month-on-month towards the end of 2021 and we’re now, in 2022, consistently clearing one million a month in revenue.
“This Seedrs fundraise will help fuel our continued growth, with expansion into new countries – Italy, France, Germany and Spain – which we hope to complete by the end of the year. We will also be investing in tech enhancements – substantial UI, UX and automation operator plans in order to keep up with our fast-growing business revenues.
“Borrow A Boat is the modern marketplace solution that the charter industry needs. We hope that this crowdfunding round will see us welcome onboard savvy investors, and boating enthusiasts who are keen to be a part of building the world’s leading boat charter marketplace, whilst making boating more accessible, affordable, flexible and inclusive for all,” he added.
Borrow A Boat’s current offering extends to over 45,000 boats in more than 65 countries.
At the time of writing [1 June], Borrow A Boat had raised 290 per cent of its target, at more than £2.1 million from 213 investors.
For more information on the raise and how to invest, follow this link.
Other boat rental marketplaces to have secured funding in the last seven months include GetMyBoat and Floatspace.