Boat rental and on-the-water experiences marketplace, Boatsetter, has announced that it has raised $38 million in Series B funding.
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.
Boatsetter intends to use the funding injection to enhance its product features, boat inventory, and experiential offerings and expand into new markets around the world.
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.
The startup also claims to have pioneered the first-ever peer-to-peer boat rental insurance policy, securing exclusive coverage with GEICO and BoatUS. Private boat owners using the policy are able to rent out their boats through the Boatsetter platform, opening up new opportunities in the $60 billion boating industry and creating a new category within the recreational, outdoor leisure and travel sharing economy.
Boatsetter co-founder and CEO, Jaclyn Baumgarten, said: “Our mission has always been about celebrating the ways that the water brings people together, and making incredible on-the-water experiences more affordable and accessible to everyone, everywhere. By making it simple and worry-free to book an experience through Boatsetter, we’ve been able to welcome hundreds of thousands of new boaters onto the water for the very first time. With this funding, we’ll continue to build on that momentum, bringing more boats, experiences, and markets into the Boatsetter community.”
New boaters who are still gaining confidence at the helm have the option to rent a boat with a captain, accessing Boatsetter’s database of United States Coast Guard certified captains. The company says that this is another element that sets Boatsetter apart from its competitors.
Gautam Gupta, partner at Level Equity, said: “We were attracted to how Boatsetter has taken the often intimidating arena of boat rental and ownership and made it remarkably intuitive. They’ve put extensive work into building the infrastructure it takes to make a business like this successful in the long term, and they’ve cracked open a market for water experiences that was previously quite narrow – attracting hundreds of thousands of new boaters and boat owners of all ages and backgrounds in the process.”
In 2021, Boatsetter doubled its year-over-year bookings, as it reports steady growth and adoption of its technology. Other boat rental companies and marketplaces to have secured funding in the last year include Floatspace, GetMyBoat and Borrow A Boat.
Credit: Short Term Rentalz