Dutch startup IQNautics has announced the launch of its first funding round to introduce digital tools as a viable alternative and help the industry become more efficient.
IQNautics have developed digital tools that automate an array of processes and tasks within the yacht charter sector. They are paving the way for digitisation, revolutionising the industry's operational challenges with smart solutions that enhance efficiency.
After officially launching at the International Charter Expo (ICE) in Zagreb and with a long-term goal of becoming a data-driven company, they are now looking for an €800,000 investment to build out their product with additional features. The plan is to develop payment integrations, microservices with transactions, and third party integrations. The funding will also be used for further marketing costs to drive customer acquisition. Having successfully launched their MVP, the team now plans to focus on industry fairs & exhibitions, and will develop a partner network in order to initially scale throughout Southern Europe.
IQNautics aims to drive digital transformation throughout an industry which still relies on antiquated and manual processes through clunky email chains, radios and even paper. Recent years have seen a push toward digitalisation in the industry but there is still a need for more maritime-specific tools. With the yacht charter industry forecasted to grow to 26 billion USD by 2026, solutions must be in place to handle this operationally and IQNautics are doing just that.
The IQNautics charter management system aims to improve operations, reduce costs and increase profitability for companies by providing a solution for a 50% faster charter process. The solution is two-fold, both increasing operational efficiency for yacht charter companies whilst also enhancing customer service and satisfaction. The goal is to reduce average waiting times for customers in marinas, improve customer communication and document change, and ensure efficient safety induction and training.
The products within their offering have also been designed for operational needs and integrated with machine learning algorithms and smart features. The first of the three products within the platform is for base and customer operations, and includes features such as digitizing documents and the charter preparation processes. The second product focuses on the maintenance and management processes through digital logs and smart task allocation. The third is focused on revenue optimisation and includes a smart calendar for bookings, discount optimisers and integrations with third-party booking platforms, such as MML Booking Manager and Nausys.
The platform starts at €19,99/month/yacht, with an option for larger fleets on sliding pricing scales dependent on requirements. Longer term, the company aims to harness its digital tools' power through a connected maritime ecosystem, integrating the processes and tasks of captains, marinas and other maritime stakeholders. The IQNautics goal is to become a data driven company providing customers next-generation insights with impact in resources, development and efficiencies across the whole value chain.
Digitalising the maritime landscape requires extensive experience and a background in technology, and IQNautics has combined this experience and wealth of knowledge with their passion for boating. Launched in 2022, the IQNautics team brings a wealth of innovation background and technical experience to the table. Leading the charge is CEO Catalin Ioan Bulareanu, who has +15 years of experience in corporate strategy and business modeling. Danny Bemelmans, the CFO, also has +20 years of experience in a range of senior business development roles, having grown businesses in national and international markets.
From a product perspective, the platform has been designed by Kostas Bagiuiani, who works alongside CTO Valentin Stoican to deliver on the long-term vision for IQNautics as an innovative, reliable and robust technology environment. Guiding and cementing the brand is Adina Cristea, who has a background in marketing & communication within multinational top companies in various fields of activity (FMCG, Insurance and Banking).
Commenting on the round, CEO Catalin Ioan Bulareanu said, “The yacht charter industry is growing and growth always comes with a new set of challenges. The only viable way forward for the industry is to adopt digital tools. At IQNautics, we’re committed to building those tools. Our approach is customer centric development, which means our products are intuitive, easy to use and solve real challenges. With this new round of funding, we’re ready to take IQNautics to the next level and build on our success to date.”
CAPITAL AT RISK. Investing in start-ups and early-stage companies involves risks, including illiquidity, lack of dividends, loss of investment and dilution. It should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio. There is no assurance that the investment objectives of any investment opportunity will be achieved or that the strategies and methods described herein will be successful. Investors are recommended to seek independent advice before committing or if they have any doubts as to the appropriateness or suitability of such an investment in relation to their specific circumstances.