Boat rental startup Skipperi receives €7m in Series A funding

Finland: Shared-use boating subscription service and peer-to-peer boat rental platform, Skipperi, has secured €7 million in a Series A funding round to make boating more accessible.  

The round was led by Yamaha Motor, with Baltiska Handels Sverige, Matu Capital and HP Capital also participating. It takes Skipperi’s total funding to date to €12.6 million.

Founded by Anna-Leena Raij and Kristian Raij in 2017, Skipperi aims to make boating more accessible and hassle-free than ever before, and will seek to use the new investment to expand into Australia and the United States.

Skipperi’s booking service works entirely via the startup’s app, from reserving the boat to accessing the dock and keys, refuelling the boat when one’s session is complete and then replacing whatever tools or amenities they have used, ready for the next renter. All boats in the Skipperi fleet are equipped with life jackets for passengers of all ages, in addition to other necessary safety equipment.

The Helsinki-based startup takes care of the boats’ maintenance, equipment, insurance, and availability. The service is available for both new and experienced boaters, while the Skipperi Academy offers theoretical and practical training in preparation for a boating exam to access the water safely.

Kristian Raij, co-founder and CEO of Skipperi, said: “We want to create low threshold access into boating and create room in the boating community for everyone. Boating has been traditionally quite hard to access, requiring a lot of time and money – we see that over 53 per cent of our users subscribe due to owning a boat being too expensive.

“So, we aim to get more new people into boating, and this investment means we can expand our operations to get more people safely enjoying this wonderful hobby,” added Raij.

Toshiaki Ibata, chief general manager of Marine Business Operations at Yamaha Motor, said: “Skipperi is an essential partner for us. It’s the only tech company that has developed and is already operating an efficient digital platform capable of providing seamless services to help more people enjoy the ocean and solve the inefficient and high-cost daily operations many boats club businesses face.

“We hope to create a stronger relationship and accelerate the development of the sharing economy through this investment,” added Ibata.

Isha Borkar

Isha joined IHM in January 2023 as a multimedia reporter. She has a master's in International Journalism from the City, University of London. Isha would like to develop herself as a multimedia reporter in the United States. She enjoys learning new languages, cooking, and reading in her free time. She looks forward to uncovering new stories around the world.