Tubber
[Credit: Tubber]

Tubber sets sail for international expansion with €1m raise

Netherlands: Groningen-based boat rental platform Tubber has secured €1 million from the Northern Development Agency [NOM] in funding to accelerate its international expansion strategy.

The company, which was founded in 2017, currently manages a fleet of 16,000+ boats in more than 750 destinations around the world and is aiming to make sailing holidays “accessible to everyone”.

Initially focusing primarily on the domestic Dutch market, Tubber has since expanded into locations such as Greece and Croatia, as well as the UK and Germany in 2023, and the startup is targeting a launch in Scandinavia in 2024 thanks to the investment.

Tubber expects to use the latest funding to expand its offering of available boats, enhance its marketing, develop its technology and strengthen its footprint in more international markets. It currently offers everything from sailing yachts to catamarans, motor yachts and motorboats.

The startup previously raised funding in early 2023 from investors such as G-Force Capital and Move Fast Ventures, and angel investor Marnix van der Ploeg, who served as corporate controller at Booking.com earlier in his career.

Boudewijn Hulst, investment manager at the NOM, told Founded in Groningen: “We hope that our investment will help them cross the borders quicker and more effectively. Our goal is for Tubber to become the next high growth scale-up in the Northern region, something we see happening here more and more frequently.

“Most important to us, of course, is the team behind Tubber. They are ambitious and innovative and have shown themselves to be extremely adaptable. They also surround themselves with great employees, advisors, and investors, which provide them with additional value,” added Hulst.

Tubber CEO Tessa van der Valk said: “Creating a budget was complicated by fluctuations in travel behaviour, from a Covid year in 2020 to recovery in 2021 and overwhelming demand for vacations in 2022. Finding the new normal was crucial for solid financial planning, and this process took more time than initially expected.

“Our goal is to make sailing vacations on the open water accessible to everyone and become the go-to platform for sailing holidays. The €1 million investment from NOM enables us to accelerate our expansion abroad and realise our international growth ambition,” she added.

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