Having recently spent an evening listening to a twenty-something former Google developer (who shall remain nameless) discussing his burning desire to own a yacht, my ears pricked up on hearing of Sailogy — a marketplace for boat chartering — that’s just closed a $1.15 million Series A funding round.
So hey, developers — even if you don’t have the time to get round to actually owning your own yacht, not to mention figuring out the logistics of coding from boat, you can still charter a sail next time you’re planning a spot of AFK time. And Swiss startup Sailogy wants to make it really easy to get a decent yacht to gently rock your downtime.
The startup, which last raised in 2012 when it pulled in a $400,000 seed, offers an online marketplace to connect those who want to charter a yacht with companies that own them. It’s not a p2p marketplace — so it’s not competing with startups such as Boatbound and Incrediblue — deliberately so as it wants to keep standards high, says founder and CEO Manlio Accardo.
“We don’t trust boat owners to have the motivation to properly run check-ins, check-outs, safety demonstrations, cleaning, laundry, 24/7 telephone assistance and troubleshooting,” he tells TechCrunch. Sailogy’s main competitors are therefore the likes of Yachtbooker, Yachtico and The Globe Sailor, according to Accardo.
Sailogy employs a dedicated member of staff to search the seven seas for new charter craft and certify these barks are up to scratch by meeting with managers and doing an on-site inspection of the fleet in its home harbor — which involves looking at least 50% of the stock to ensure it’s, y’know, ship-shape and Bristol fashion.
It also lets customers talk directly to charter companies via its platform as another differentiating measure to boost utility and trust. All boats can be booked in real-time with immediate confirmation on receipt of your deposit.
Currently Sailogy has some 265 charter companies signed up to its marketplace, with 4,500 yachts available for renting across 140 locations. It’s apparently increasing this pool by 100 new boats per month.
It says the new financing round will be used to continuing growing the number of boats available to charter. It will also be spending on photographing more of its fleet — to increase the available info to improve booking rates (it says it’s currently photographed 65% of its fleet).
Sailogy beta-launched its service last year, and says it generated revenues in excess of $150,000 — without any marketing activity. The average basket size per customer was $5,200 — or, to put that figure another way, this is another startup targeting the 0.0001%.
It’s now receiving 750 charter requests per month from customers based in the U.S., U.K., Continental Europe and Russia — and, fueled by its new funding injection, says aiming to boost its revenues to $3 million this year.
The new funding round is led by the Swiss Government Foundation AGIRE and Fabio Cannavale, exec chairman of online travel group BravoFly Rumbo Group. Cannavale also joins Sailogy’s board. Existing Sailogy investors also participated in the round.