Boatbound receives financing for expansion

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Peer-to-peer boating marketplace Boatbound announced that it received $2.5 million in a new financing round led by Brunswick Corp.

The money will allow the company to continue expansion and inventory growth in new markets throughout the 2014 boating season.

The company's initial launch was focused in San Francisco and it expanded to more than 500 cities in 45 states during the first six months of business.

It has received boat listings in 70 countries, although no international launch dates have been announced. To date, there have been $3.5 million in planned bookings through the Boatbound platform. This season, the company plans to expand its operations into the South Florida, New York, Chicago and Seattle markets.

Brunswick and Boatbound recently announced a partnership that extends to 4,300 dealers.

“They’ve built a reputation of integrity and quality, so them putting their muscle behind us to increase awareness, and also their belief that Boatbound will change the industry for the better, in general, is exciting,” Boatbound founder Aaron Hall told Trade Only Today at the time.

Other investors in Boatbound's fundraising round include OurCrowd, notable angel investors Laszlo Bock and John Thomas (Google), and others.

"We had strong VC's interest, but felt that a strategic partner made the most sense for us at this stage since we are heavily committed to building the inventory in key markets. Similar to how RelayRides partnered with GM to expand supply, this partnership with Brunswick not only gives Boatbound more credibility in the industry, but will help us scale rapidly," Hall said in a statement.

In conjunction with this announcement, Boatbound has released a major redesign and update of Boatbound.com with more than 50 new features.

"We took a new mobile-first approach when rebuilding the site to allow our members to find and book a boat from any mobile device with just a touch of the thumb, further simplifying the user experience," Boatbound co-founder Matt Johnston said in a statement.

In addition to the mobile experience, renters with no boating experience or people looking to be chauffeured can now rent boats with a captain.

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