UK: Boat rental and yacht charter marketplace, Borrow a Boat, has gone live with its £750,000 crowdfunding campaign on investment crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, as it aims to go public via a potential, world-first initial public offering [IPO].
Dubbed the ‘Airbnb of boats’, Borrow a Boat has already received £488,648 of its target from 404 investors, following a pre-money valuation of £15 million.
Founded in 2016 and launched in 2017 by entrepreneur Matt Ovenden, Borrow a Boat is aiming to make boating more accessible, affordable, flexible and inclusive for all, to help drive participation and make the boat chartering process simpler. The company is part of the vanguard of firms digitising the large and maturing global charter market, which is estimated to be worth $30 billion annually by 2027.
Ovenden said in a press release: “Following an extremely testing year for the travel industry, we’re thrilled to be in a position to offer investors the opportunity to get on board and invest in the rising popularity of boating across the globe. Our partnership with Crowdcube means that we will have access to a diverse group of investors, who in turn will be able to join us in bringing the joy of boating to the masses.”
With access to more than 35,000 vessels in over 65 countries, Borrow a Boat offers peer-to-peer listings, as well as boat rental through traditional charter companies. In addition, it helps boat owners to generate extra income from their vessel and reduce the high costs of boat ownership, including maintenance costs and marina fees.
The latest raise is its second in 2021, having navigated a challenging year to bounce back to accelerating growth and revenues due to a rebounding market, expanding into several new countries including the USA, Canada and Australia, and acquiring competitor Helm.
In January, Borrow a Boat secured £449,070 in investment, surpassing its original target of £250,000 by 199 per cent and bringing its total funding to date to somewhere in the region of £3.8 million.
Looking ahead, the company said that it was in the early stages of exploring an IPO with Aquis Exchange for 2022, which would represent a world-first milestone for a boat charter marketplace.
Visit Borrow a Boat’s Crowdcube page at this link.