Boatsetter announced a $10 million investment led by WestCap Group and Valor Equity, as an extension of its Series A financing round.
“It’s very clear there’s a need and demand in growth for getting people out on the water,” Boatsetter cofounder and CEO Jaclyn Baumgarten told Trade Only Today. “With this new round of funding, we’ll be investing heavily in hiring top industry talent across design, engineering, and brand to join us as we build a best-in-class product and customer experience for our community.”
The company grew 350 percent between 2017 and 2018, and has expanded across the United States, and into Mexico and Europe, said Baumgarten. The platform has 350,000 registered users, though not all users have necessarily transacted with the company.
“We’ll continue to focus on streamlining our product experience for both renters and owners across all platforms,” she said. “Over the next year, we’ll also be working on expanding our product offering in addition to expanding our global footprint.
Boatsetter and Geico have also formalized a strategic and exclusive partnership to offer peer-to-peer insurance coverage in the United States.
“Geico insures the boat, the boat owner, and the captain,” said Baumgarten. “We are the only marketplace in the U.S. that is insured for peer-to-peer rentals.”
“Boatsetter has proven to be the leading player in the boat sharing space during a time when younger demographics are driven by experiences rather than material possessions,” said Bill Roberts, CEO of Geico, in a statement. “We are excited to continue our partnership with Boatsetter as the marketplace continues to expand its presence and product offerings that are making boating more accessible to new demographics including younger consumers.”
The demographic of Boatsetter users skew much younger than the industry overall, according to the company — 72 percent are under the age of 45, and the fastest-growing demographic is among Gen Z and millennials; a third of those younger users are women.
“That’s one of the things I’m most proud of — when you look at the fastest-growing group, a third of them are women,” Baumgarten said. “We are building out a product that takes out the intimidation factor. We also offer captains, so they don’t have to be experienced.”
The new investment will be added to the $21 million raised by the company during previous years.
Key investors of the most recent round include WestCap and Valor Equity, with a new board seat being taken by Laurence Tosi, a sailor, former CFO of Blackstone and Airbnb and founder/managing partner of WestCap.