The Danish boat sharing platform Boatflex just secured about €675K in funding to help more people to rent a boat and enjoy life on the water. The investment comes from the largest early-stage venture fund in Denmark, SEED Capital and from two business angels.
The founders of Boatflex are sure that everyone, whether you have a Certificate of Competence and your own boat or not, should be able to enjoy sailing. Therefore, Boatflex offers customers boat rental with or without captain. Boatflex was founded in 2014.
Jakob Bojesen, the founder and CEO of Boatflex stated: “Most private boats are only used 2% of the time and it is definitely not cheap to own a boat. We think it would be ideal to provide boat owners with the opportunity to get some of their expenses covered, while we let people without a boat enjoy some time on the water.”
Besides Jakob Bojesen the Boatflex team includes COO Arvid Sihm, Mik Thobo-Carlsen (founder of Tattoodo) and sailing professional and Olympic medallist Jonas Høgh-Christensen. Following the investment, Boatflex has recruited more key hires to help take the case to the next level.
According to Boatflex, the biggest challenge for boat owners is the costs related to owning a boat. Dansk Sejlunion estimates that a standard 30 ft. boat can easily cost as much as DKK 100.000 (€13.444) in yearly maintenance. Boatflex has several of this particularly type of boat on their platform, where the owners have rented out their boat for DKK 40.000 (€5.378) during a season.
All boats on the Boatflex platform are fully insured during the rental period. The community of sailors in Denmark are made up of older and older sailors. Boatflex allows for the younger generation to get on the water. Buying a boat suddenly becomes an option for a much larger segment, if you can get some of the costs covered through rental. The investors see a large potential.
“Sharing economy platforms are on the rise and Boatflex is “riding the wave”. They serve a gigantic market with only a few competitive platforms. They have the potential to become a category winner within their market. The founding team at Boatflex has showed great engagement and execution skills from the very beginning.” says Investment Manager from SEED Capital Alexander Viterbo-Horten.
Boatflex has attracted boat owners from all over the world, which makes it possible to rent everything from a small boat to tour the Copenhagen Harbour to a mega yacht for a sailing holiday in the Mediterranean. There are currently 1400 rental boats and 4000 registered users on the Boatflex platform. According to Boatflex, the platform counted 200.000 unique visits in 2016.