A round-up of the largest funding rounds in the leisure marine and yachting industries in 2022, with the startups detailed collectively pulling in +$175M in funding.
1. Wanderlust Group: $30M
In January 2022, the Wanderlust Group secured $30M in a Series C funding round led by venture capital firm Thursday Ventures.
The Rhode Island based company, which connects adventurers to outdoor destinations, is the parent brand to Dockwa, which connects boaters and marinas, and marina directory Marinas.com. The company has raised $52.8 million in funding to date across five rounds.
2. Navier: $7.2M
Silicon Valley based startup Navier raised a US$7.2M seed funding round in February 2022. By using electric hydrofoiling technology, the boats built by Navier eliminate high hydrodynamic drag and aim to be the longest-range electric vessels on the market at high speeds.
The seed round was co-led by Global Founders Capital and Treble - a new fund run by Daniel Gulati, the former MD of Comcast Ventures. Other participants in the round included Next View Ventures, Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital, Precursor Ventures, as well as angel investors like Charlie Songhurst, Josh Lee, Yida Gao, Kent Ho and David Jen, among others.
3. Get My Boat: $21M
In February 2022, GetMyBoat received investment from Yanmar who acquired a majority stake in the company after investing $21 million as part of its Series B funding round. GetMyBoat is changing the way the world goes boating, snorkeling, kayaking, and more. It is the world’s largest boat rental and charter marketplace with over 150,000 boats in 184 countries covering 9,300 destinations.
Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, Yanmar is a global company with more than 110 years of history of delivering innovative products and solutions for customers. Yanmar has been working with GetMyBoat since its initial investment in March 2018.
4. Savvy Navvy: £1.3M
UK-based boating navigation startup Savvy Navvy closed a £1.3M crowdfunding round in March 2022. Founded by Jelte Liebrand, a former Google software engineer, Savvy Navvy aims to simplify boating navigation. The Savvy Navvy app has now had more than 43 million miles plotted by its hundreds of thousands of users globally.
5. Flux Marine: $15.5M
Flux Marine - a trailblazing developer of all-electric outboard motors and battery systems for watercraft - announced a $15.5M Series A in March 2022.
The oversubscribed round was led by Ocean Zero LLC - a fund created by TED Conferences head Chris Anderson and seasoned technology editor Stephen Petranek to invest in the acceleration of alternative energy solutions for consumer and commercial marine transportation. Flux Marine also enjoyed participation in the round from Boost VC and Winklevoss Capital, and saw majority participation from previous seed and angel investors.
6. X-Shore: $50M
Sweden’s electric boat maker X Shore raised a $50M funding round in April 2022, to ramp up production at its new Nyköping-based X Shore Industries 1 facility. The round was oversubscribed in less than 24 hours with Northvolt founder and CEO Peter Carlsson joining the cap table.
Previous investors in X Shore include Delivery Hero founder Lukasz Gadowski’s Team Europe holding company, Navin Thukkaram, founder and CEO of Innovation Bootcamp, and Marec Gasiun, former Head of Automotive Business Development at Google.
7. Evoy: €7.3M
Evoy raised €7.3 million ($ 7.6M) in May 2022, with funds to be used for development, research and expanding markets for their high performance electric inboard and outboard systems.
In addition to multiple follow-up investments from current shareholders, the round attracted participation from an array of high profile and influential investors with interest in the clean future of mobility. Co-leaders of the round were Klaveness Marine, Grieg Edge (the innovation unit within the Grieg Maritime Group), and Link Venture Capital - one of the most active investors in the Nordics focusing on accelerating the energy transition and cleantech. Other notable investors include Jakob Hatteland, Petter Muren, Johan Brand and Martin Anderlind.
8. YACHTNEEDS: €1.25M
In May 2022, YACHTNEEDS announced the closing of a €1.25M funding round. Investors in this round included a private investor with a background in technology and marketplaces, and F2IAM Fund - a Monegasque Innovation Impact and Acceleration Fund supported by the Monaco government.
The YACHTNEEDS marketplace is the first of its kind within the yachting industry and offers many thousands of yachting specific products, sold by 100’s of local, trusted sellers. The marketplace saves buyers arduous time sourcing products allowing crew, guests, and owners to search via brand, manufacturer, part-code or select from the many categories related to each department onboard, and have their orders easily delivered to their yacht or location of choice.
9. ZeroJet: 7-Digits
Maritime innovator ZeroJet raised a Series A round in July 2022. Based in New Zealand, ZeroJet is the creator of the world's first turnkey electric jet propulsion system for boats. With orders from the world’s most respected boat builders, its engineering team is set to rewrite what’s possible with high performance electric motors.
Led by Movac, the oversubscribed round also garnered support from Australia’s Investible Climate Tech Fund, the NZX listed Booster Innovation Fund as well as family offices, high net worth individuals and repeat investment from NZGCP, Impact Enterprise Fund and K1W1.
10. Boatsetter: $38M
Boatsetter raised a $38M Series B round in August 2022. The round was co-led by New York-based private equity firm Level Equity, with participation from Suntex Marinas, Certares and other undisclosed investors. The digital private markets team of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as the sole placement agent for the deal.
Since launching commercially in 2014, Boatsettter has drawn over one million boaters and boat owners to its community, and now offers more than 50,000 boat listings in 700 locations worldwide. Offering a diverse collection of “high-quality” rental boats, Boatsetter also enables renters to access a wide array of water-based activities, led by owners and captains, such as wakeboarding, sunset cruises, party boats, fishing excursions, sand bar hopping and more.
11. Seasy: 7-Digits
Marina booking platform Seasy closed a 7-digit round in August 2022. Based in Austria, the core Seasy product is a networking platform between sailors and marinas, similar to Airbnb, allowing sailors to simply book a berth, often at a very short notice.
Investors in the round included existing investors Oliver Sikora (angel investor) and the VC firm Next Floor, as well as Alexander Schütz and Hans-Peter Haselsteiner - who both became aware of Seasy after watching Niklas Baumgartner pitch on the TV show "2 Minuten 2 Millionen" (similar to Dragons Den in the UK, or Shark Tank in the US). The founders of Austria's unicorn platform GoStudent (Gregor Müller and Felix Ohswald) also joined the round.
12. BlueNav: €1.3M
In October 2022, BlueNav - the first French developer of hybrid engines solutions for boats - raised €1.3M in seed funding. This round heralds the preparation of an upcoming Series A in 2023.
The round was led by SWEN Blue Ocean with participation from ARDEV and DeepIE Ventures. SWEN Capital Partners is a leading player in responsible investment in unlisted assets in Europe, with €6.9 billion under management. Blue Ocean is SWEN's venture capital fund investing in innovations that help regenerate ocean health, hence contributing to achieve SDG14.
13. Swiss Ocean Tech: $1.5M
Swiss Ocean Tech successfully closed a pre-series A financing round of $1.5M in October 2022. The Zurich-based startup focuses on bringing safety to anchoring for sailor, ship and sea.
Their patented AnchorGuardian technology minimises the risk of an anchor dragging by providing predictions and immediate alarms for superyachts, leisure boats, fishing vessels, and merchant ships. It fundamentally replaces the ‘rule-of-thumb’ methodology with actionable data insights and real-time feedback.