Whether it’s fishing, water skiing, tubing or spending a few days aboard a luxurious yacht, being out on the water is an exciting way to spend time with family and friends.
One of the main issues, though, when seeking to go out for a few hours of fun off the mainland is finding a boat. Not everyone owns their own boat when it’s time to go — much like not everyone owns their own truck but needs one when it’s time to move to a new place. There is one such company that’s making it easier to rent a boat from anywhere at anytime.
GetMyBoat is an international boat renting company that’s slowly becoming the Uber of the water world. Through signing up on the company’s website, users can find a boat to rent or list their own for others to rent in 171 countries worldwide. We talked with GetMyBoat COO Bryan Petro to get a deeper look into the company.
PYMNTS: In your own words, what is GetMyBoat?
BP: GetMyBoat is a boat rental and charter marketplace that connects boats with people who want to rent them. We also go beyond boat rentals and host any kind of on-the-water excursion from kayaks and canoes to dive trips and eco tours. We have over 64,000 experiences in 171 countries with an app for iOS and Android to make booking a trip easy.
PYMNTS: What’s the story behind how GetMyBoat started?
BP: GetMyBoat serial entrepreneurs and cofounders, Sascha Mornell and Rafael Collado, were out on the water and asked themselves, “Why can’t more people have access to great boating experiences for less?” A few years later, with a few more successful business ventures under their belts, and along with the emergence of the sharing economy, Sascha and Rafael knew it was time to bring GetMyBoat to life.
PYMNTS: How does the pricing model work, and how does GetMyBoat get paid?
BP: Currently, we work with both owners and renters. GetMyBoat takes a small percentage of the booking where owners only incur a nominal 7 percent fee once they have confirmed guests.
PYMNTS: Who does GetMyBoat see as its competition, if any, and why?
BP: Currently, GetMyBoat is holding its own in the company of sharing economy marketplaces such as Airbnb and adventure booking websites such as TripAdvisor. However, we are the only worldwide booking website that caters exclusively to on-the-water excursion seekers, and we have the largest depth and breadth of options to choose from. We are also the only marketplace of our kind that has an app for iOS and Android, and we have a unique, customizable boat rental insurance product for both renters and owners.
PYMNTS: Since its 2013 inception, how much has GetMyBoat grown year over year?
BP: We launched to the public with fewer than 10,000 boats, and four years later, we now have over 64,000 watercrafts available. We’ve seen phenomenal growth when it comes to both boat numbers, as well as users within our community.
PYMNTS: How many rounds of funding has GetMyBoat received?
BP: We are fortunate enough to be privately funded.
PYMNTS: Of the 171 countries, how many actual locations are there, and how many rentals are completed each year?
BP: We’re in 171 countries and 7,100 locations, and with the largest inventory of bookable on-the-water experiences, we are serving a huge volume of rentals and trips every year. The exact number we would like to keep private for now due to the competitive nature of our industry.
PYMNTS: What does the term “Uber of X” mean to you, and how does GetMyBoat fit that mold?
BP: Uber of X signifies a change in consumer behavior. Consumers are more informed than ever about what they are purchasing. With the emergence of the sharing economy, consumers only want to pay for a good or service while using it. GetMyBoat is adding to the sharing economy by taking an expensive-to-own item, a boat, and allowing people around the world the ability to own it for a day. Access is valued over ownership. Our users get to enjoy the benefits of boating without the large overhead that usually comes with it. Just as Uber and Airbnb are changing their respective industries, we are revolutionizing the boating industry to make enjoying the world’s waterways simple, cost-effective and fun.
PYMNTS: As most startups have their fair share of hiccups, can you share a few lessons-learned anecdotes?
BP: When we realized that many of our owners were seeking to list options, such as eco tours, standup paddleboards, surf excursions and dive trips, we made the decision to move beyond private boat rentals and charters. We decided to expand our focus to include everything on the water due to demand, and in turn, our data shows that these types of trips are booked just as often, if not more so, than rentals or charters.
Building a startup does indeed come with a few hiccups. The best piece of advice we have for entrepreneurs wishing to launch a successful startup is to be agile and listen to what your users want. We’re forging a new course in previously unexplored waters, and most of the time, our users are our inspiration for innovation.
PYMNTS: What are GetMyBoat’s 2017 goals?
BP: This year, we are focused on further refining our product to make the user experience simple. We want to make it even easier and faster for someone to get out and experience life on the water.