UK: Boat rental and yacht charter marketplace, Borrow A Boat, has closed its “most successful” crowdfunding round to date, securing £3,017,030 from 670 investors.
The raise on the Seedrs investment crowdfunding platform brings the business’ lifetime crowdfunding total to over £7.8 million. The round came in at 402 per cent of its original £750,000 target.
Founded in 2017, Borrow A Boat has access to over 45,000 boat rentals and yacht charters in 65+ countries, including the UK, and in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, North America and South East Asia.
Setting out to digitise on a global charter market that is set to be worth $30 billion annually by 2027, Borrow A Boat wants to make boating “more accessible, affordable, flexible and inclusive for all”, to help drive participation and make the chartering process more simple and efficient.
In 2021, following a year where venture capital investment in the travel industry had dropped by 55 per cent, the company raised £1.5 million which enabled its expansion into the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and facilitated its acquisition of three competitors in the market.
Borrow A Boat is also currently targeting a “world first” IPO for a boat charter marketplace, which is planned for 2023.
Matt Ovenden, founder and CEO of Borrow A Boat, said: “In 2017, when Borrow A Boat was launched, the yacht charter industry was stagnant. We have always believed that boat rental should be as easy as booking a hotel, flight or train, so could see the opportunity the coming marketplace revolution afforded both boat owners and customers.
“Despite launching this round amidst the backdrop of increasing interest rates, inflation and the risk of recession, we have now successfully completed our biggest ever raise, bringing our lifetime crowdfunding total to £7.8 million.
“The huge success of this crowdfund, 402 per cent over target, is clear recognition of our growth and progress towards our objective of making boating accessible for all. It shows the support, from investors, for our plans to grow the marketplace internationally.
“Going forward we will continue to innovate and disrupt – true to our mission to make boating more accessible, affordable, flexible and inclusive for all, to help drive participation, and make chartering a boat simpler, wherever you are in the world,” he added.