Floatspace closes the round of pre-series A

Australia: online boat rental market Floatspace – dubbed “Airbnb or Expedia for boats” – has closed a pre-Series A funding round with a host of investors as it seeks to become the benchmark for any event on the water.

The Sydney-based startup, which recently rebranded its old name ‘Flotespace’, received an investment from SiteMinder founder Mike Ford, while Amaysim co-founder Rolf Hansen and Airtasker founder and CEO Tim Fung, both invested for the second time. Jeff Lewis, former vice president of technology and strategy at TripAdvisor, is also a non-executive director at Floatspace.

The latest round gives Floatspace a valuation of $ 12 million, just four years after its launch.

Speaking to ShortTermRentalz, Founder and CEO Hugh Treseder said the funding would be “instrumental” for the growth of Floatspace, including helping the startup evolve its product and technology, hire new people and prepare it for international expansion into new markets [including Miami in the United States] for a Series A increase.

Treseder said: “We are preparing incredible new hires in the areas of technology and products. It’s a very exciting time and so we’re calling on the best in the business.

He said the australian About the startup’s product and technology improvement plans: “Typically you go to Google and type in ‘boat rental’ and you get 50 websites. We’re trying to be the funnel with on-site payment, industry-first features like availability and real-time pricing with our proprietary software, and some really cool payment innovations to spread costs across groups, for example example. “

Going forward, Floatspace has identified 22 markets around the world, including Croatia and Greece, where it is focused on growing its global presence.

Ford told the same publication he had observed how the boat rental and sharing space “has had less technological innovation than adjacent spaces like accommodation. [and] has immense potential that can be unlocked through technology and product innovation ”.

Tim Fung, Airtasker Founder and CEO, said, “Floatspace is doing something quite special by bringing together a very fragmented industry of boat owners to make it easy and transparent for customers. Hugh and the team have built a customer experience that is driving exceptional growth and I am very happy to be on board as they take Floatspace to the world.

The majority of Floatspace customers are millennials between the ages of 25 and 35, and about 60% are men, according to Treseder. Boats can be hired for four-hour charters for everything from celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, and bachelorette parties to corporate events.

Pent-up demand has skyrocketed for boat charters in Australia as Covid lockdowns begin to ease across the country, and with summer and the holiday season on the horizon, Floatspace is already receiving bookings through 2023 and forecasts annual revenues of $ 10 million to $ 12 million.

Treseder said, “We are up 560% year over year and are experiencing tremendous growth as we tackle overseas markets. This current increase gives us a good idea of ​​the expansion we have in store.

“We are developing an innovation that will allow us to truly be the benchmark for any event on the water. These cover payments, automation and initiatives that will bring the most user-friendly and efficient platform for those looking to have fun on the water, ”he added.

A number of other boat and yacht charter markets, such as GetMyBoat, also achieved record growth in activity in 2021, while Borrow a boat launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £ 750,000 for a possible initial public offering [IPO].

Re-listen to the ShortTermRentalz podcast interview with Treseder from July, in which he explained the reasons for the skyrocketing demand for boat rentals, length-of-stay trends, and the reasons the company appealed for. to Jeff Lewis.

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