As the tourism industry steadily grows, people – and especially millenials – are increasingly looking to take their holidays on the seas. A rising tide lifts all boats, and the Berlin-based boat reservation platform Zizoo has just completed a €6.5 million Series A financing round to cross the oceans into new markets. Revo Capital led the round, with participation from new investors including Coparion, Check24 Ventures and PUSH Ventures, along with previous investors. The startup previously raised €1.7 million in July 2016.
Zizoo has grown substantially since its launch in 2015, when we named it as one of Europe’s hottest travel tech startups. On the startup’s platform, holiday-goers can now choose from 21,000 customer-reviewed boats across 500 destinations worldwide, with a focus on Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Croatia, and Spain. After selecting their desired location and boat, customers are matched with a personal yacht-charter expert to answer all of their questions and help them plan their getaway. Zizoo also offers the option of hiring an experienced skipper to sail the boat for you.
The startup will use the new capital to fuel its global expansion and to recruit top talent across all departments. Zizoo plans to hire 40 more employees over the course of the next year to meet the rising demand for sailing experiences. In the coming months, Zizoo will also be expanding its product portfolio to include more luxury options, river cruises, mini-cruises and nautically-themed experiences.
Anna Banicevic, Zizoo’s CEO, said: “With millions of annual website visits and fantastic revenue growth rates, we will continue to empower yacht charter companies to meet the massive market opportunity represented in millennials. We have witnessed the market demand with millennials first-hand, as 85% of our customers are first-time boaters and majority are between 20 and 40 years old.”
Revo Capital’s managing director Cenk Bayrakdar added: “The yacht charter market is one of the most underserved verticals in the travel industry despite its huge potential. We believe in Zizoo’s successful future as a leading SaaS-enabled marketplace.”