Airbnb Amsterdam for boats Barqo acquired by London-based Borrow A Boat

Based in London Borrow a boata boat and yacht charter market, announced on Tuesday that it had acquired barqoan Amsterdam-based platform for domestic boat rentals.

The acquisition and expansion into European markets of Borrow A Boat follows its launches in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in 2021, as well as the acquisition of the specialist charter broker Helm. With this development, the company will bring over 5,000 additional boats to market, along with a strong customer base of over 100,000.

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Marketplace for boat rental

Founded in 2014 by Thijs Janssen, Dennis van Kappen and Floris van Hoogenhuyze, Barqo is a P2P boat sharing platform in the Netherlands. The platform connects captains who have a boat with sailors who want to explore the seas. The company aims to make sailing accessible, sustainable and lucrative.

In June 2021, Barqo signed an agreement with Samboat, a Bordeaux-based online marketplace for P2P boat rental and yacht charter, to create the most active and wide range of boats in Europe.

Speaking on the development, Thijs Janssen said: “This acquisition will strengthen Barqo’s position in the Dutch market and fuel growth in other European markets, thanks to the high level of synergy our businesses have together. Our system and Borrow A Boat’s ambition go together very well.

Entering the European market

Borrow A Boat is a worldwide boat rental marketplace offering peer-to-peer listings. Created in 2016 by boat enthusiasts, it currently lists more than 35,000 boats in more than 65 countries.

Matt Ovenden, Founder of Borrow A Boat, said: “After a successful 2021, including securing over £1m of investment through crowdfunding, we are delighted to have kicked off the year with a firm entry into the European market”.

According to Ovenden, Barqo was founded with the same mission as Borrow A Boat – a team of boating enthusiasts eager to share the joy of boating by making it more accessible, affordable, flexible and inclusive for everyone. Therefore, the company seeks to open boating to even more people around the world.

“This acquisition further solidifies our position as one of the world’s leading yacht charter markets and we look forward to seeing what the rest of 2022 has in store,” Ovenden adds.

Worldwide boat rentals and yacht charters

Founded in 2016 by Matt Ovenden, Borrow A Boat is a yacht and boat rental portal for boat owners, charter companies and those looking to go out on a boat. The platform helps to find and rent boats of all kinds, from canal and riverboat across Europe to sailboat, motorboat, catamaran, including luxury yachts and superyachts.

The company says: “We believe yachting should be accessible to everyone, so whatever your boating skills or experience, you can arrange anything from a bareboat yacht charter to a fully crewed gulet or luxury yacht charter in moments. If you don’t have the confidence or experience of sailing we can also organize a skipper in most cases.”

Borrow A Boat has raised over £4.8m in funding to date from a mix of crowdfunding, private investors and venture capitalists, and is now planning a potential IPO this year – which will be a world first for a boat rental market.

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