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Borrow A Boat makes US acquisition with KellyBoat

UK / US: Boat rental and yacht charter marketplace, Borrow A Boat, has confirmed the acquisition of peer-to-peer charter platform KellyBoat, as it continues to establish its global presence in the United States.

The acquisition of KellyBoat, which is based in Nantucket, Massachusetts, marks the continuation of Borrow A Boat’s growth strategy in the United States, which to date is the fastest growing market for the company. According to the company, boat hires will be focused on New England and Palm Beach, and it expects to make more expansion announcements in Q4.

KellyBoat founder Kelly Shea Lyden said: “Borrow A Boat has been recognised as a fast moving, innovative leader in the global boat hire market. As its first US acquisition, we’re excited to bring their boundless energy and successful technology to the US market.

“I am thrilled to be joining Borrow a Boat’s growing family of boating businesses and to work with this impressive team. It was clear to me from our first conversations that we share a vision of presenting the very best boating options available to everyone, everywhere,” she added.

Earlier this year, Borrow A Boat raised more than £3 million from 670 investors in its “most successful” crowdfunding round to date. The raise on Seedrs took the startup’s lifetime crowdfunding total to date to more than £7.8 million.

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. The company has more recently expanded into several new countries and completed three acquisitions of competitors in the last 12 months in Helm, Barqo and Beds on Board.

Matt Ovenden, founder and CEO of Borrow A Boat, said: “The combination of Kelly’s local knowledge and our technology gives us a powerful platform to grow in the US, and we have aggressive growth targets as we see it as a key market for Borrow a Boat. Since launching in America last year, we’ve experienced unrivalled interest from the US boating audience who have well and truly got on board with the Borrow A Boat offering, enabling it to become one of our fastest growing markets worldwide.

“We’re proud to be celebrating this achievement at the Annapolis Boat Shows. We’re now looking toward the future of our US foothold, including further plans for expansion, and eyeing up additional acquisitions,” he added.

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.

Following the acquisition, customers will be able to choose from a variety of vessels to rent, including sailboats, motorboats, riverboats, RIBs, catamarans, gulets, luxury yachts and super-yachts.

Borrow A Boat is also currently targeting a “world first” IPO for a boat charter marketplace in 2023.