Obviously, not everyone owns a boat, and boat ownership is far more unique than car ownership — which makes it maybe an ideal category for peer-to-peer marketplace rentals. P2P boat rental startup Boatsetter recognized this opportunity, and is now announcing a $10 million Series A “extension” funding round to help it grow its business, with investment led by WestCap Group and Valor Equity.
Boatsetter counts itself the top peer-to-peer boat rental marketplace in the U.S., and offers insurance to boat renters, owners and captains alike through a just-announced strategic partnership with Geico. The Miami-based startup estimates the size of the peer-to-peer boat rental market at as much as $50 billion annually, and plans to use its investment to expand its offering, both from a product perspective and expanding its presence in key markets globally.
To date, Boatsetter has raised $31 million, including earlier portions of this Series A raised over the past two years. The company focuses on rentals for anywhere from two to more than a dozen passengers, and a range of boat options that can also include qualified captains for larger vessels. It’s a bit like an Airbnb crossed with an Uber, and there are rentals available in vacation hotspots around the world. As part of this new funding, Boatsetter is also adding a new board member — Laurence Tosi, the former CFO of Blackstone and Airbnb, who is also a founder and partner at new investor WestCap.
The funding will help the startup invest in bringing in new talent focused on design, engineering and brand building, in addition to product work and market expansion.