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VisionAnchor Graduates From Techstars, Now Raising 1.2M For Continued Growth

European nautical startup VisionAnchor have successfully graduated from prestigious global accelerator program Techstars, raising $120k in order to ramp up the production of their innovative smart anchoring product, the VisionAnchor S.

Now, the startup is participating in the Yachting Ventures Q3 pitch event, in order to bolster their efforts to raise between $800K - 1.2M in additional funding which will boost growth and cut production costs.

A Solution Born From Creativity

VisionAnchor’s flagship solution was born from a real-life mishap when co-founders Matija Jasarov (CEO) and Anže Peklenk (CTO) discovered that the anchor of their rental boat had come loose and gone missing during a sailing trip in Croatia. The incident sparked a creative solution to revolutionise the traditional anchoring process. The frustrating experience led to a brainstorming session with their long-time friend and experienced sailor, Andrej, who suggested creating a smart anchoring buoy. This innovative idea laid the foundation for VisionAnchor.

The team's dedication to safer anchoring for captains stems from firsthand experience and diverse professional backgrounds. CEO Matija brings expertise in product design and video production, having worked with Amazon, Shopify, and Volkswagen. CMO Andrej has over a decade of video marketing experience and has also led successful Kickstarter campaigns. CTO Anže, with a background in founding a translation agency and several years as a mariner, leads product development.

Innovating Based On Customer Feedback

Since 2022, VisionAnchor’s initial product, a smart buoy with an underwater camera and GPS tracking, has evolved based on feedback from potential customers and distributors. The company has pivoted to the VisionAnchor S, a model that is more focused on location tracking. The device connects directly to a smartphone app that enables users to monitor the anchor’s real-time position with precise data, allowing captains to avoid potentially dangerous situations with a faster response time. The company has sent 10 beta units worldwide and have confirmed 2 distributors so far, with 100 units in production due for delivery in July.

Speaking on the evolution of the product, the VisionAnchor team stated: “Feedback from our potential customers, visitors at boat shows, and distributors indicated a preference for the location tracking feature, which also results in a smaller, lighter, and more affordable unit for the end customer.”

This adjustment caters to a larger market, and this year they are targeting sail and motorboat owners of boats ranging from 8m to 24m across Europe and the UK: “We are not saying goodbye to the camera buoy, but putting it on pause for now to focus on penetrating a larger market with the VisionAnchor S smart buoy with location tracking.”

Strengthening The Core Team

In order to further propel their growth, VisionAnchor has strengthened its team by welcoming former Google employee Christopher Coomes, and Addison Hammer. Christopher has a background in production optimisation, product management, early stage investment and is also an advisor to Business Angels of Slovenia. Addison, who previously worked as a Global Program Manager at Google, brings valuable experience in technology integration and data acquisition.

Their expertise supports VisionAnchor’s goal to help captains anchor smarter and protect the underwater environment: “Their experience is invaluable as we aim to collect various types of ocean data using our buoys. This data will not only help captains anchor smarter, safer, and faster but also aid in preventing further destruction of the underwater environment, such as the deforestation of the seagrass Posidonia Oceanica”, comments Matija.

Industry Recognition And Funding Success

Participation in the Techstars 13-week startup accelerator program earlier this year has enabled VisionAnchor to connect with a global network of over 4000 companies and 9000 founders, enhancing their visibility and providing valuable contacts in the Italian and German boatbuilding markets. The company was selected from a group of 3000 startups to participate in the accelerator program, which underscores the company’s potential for growth.

So far, VisionAnchor has been able to raise significant funds from various sources, including €40,000 from Weidmann Paulsson, €143,000 from EIT Digital, €50,000 from the European Commission, €54,000 from the Slovenian entrepreneurial fund and $120,000 from Techstars. These substantial investments not only validate the product's market fit but also reflect investor confidence in the company's future success.

In order to further strengthen connections with investors in the marine industry and seek potential partnerships with other businesses in this sector, VisionAnchor will participate in Yachting Ventures’ Q3 pitch event. The event offers startups an opportunity to engage with investors who understand the unique challenges of the marine sector and the potential to collaborate with other startups. Speaking on the decision to participate in the pitch event, VisionAnchor stated: “Yachting Ventures is a great platform for connecting nautical startups and investors, focusing on this niche is a benefit for us. We are seeking connections not only with investors in the marine sector to raise the next round but also with other startups that can collaborate to foster growth within the industry.”

The Yachting Ventures Q3 Pitch Event takes place on Tuesday 16th July at 3:30 - 4:30pm CEST. RSVP here. For more information on VisionAnchor, visit:


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