For the majority of startups, gaining traction and getting noticed can be a challenge. And though it may be the mecca for burgeoning tech companies, San Francisco can be unforgiving to the thousands of bright-eyed entrepreneurs who are faced with the harsh realization that standing out in the cosmopolitan capital of startups can be nearly impossible. Many find themselves reaching for a life preserver before ever leaving the dock.
That hasn’t been the case for one nautically themed San Francisco startup, however. For GetMyBoat, it’s been nothing but clear skies and welcoming waters since the company launched in 2013. GetMyBoat, dubbed the “Airbnb of boating,” has experienced exponential growth over the last several months, amassing a rental listing of over 27,000 boats in 126 countries -- a remarkable feat for a company just two years removed from its launch.
In fact, the company has been growing at such a rapid pace that it caught the attention of Forbes this past weekend. The business magazine featured GetMyBoat in its Sports Money section, comparing its success to that of booming private taxi and ridesharing startup Uber.
“We’ve had explosive growth,” GetMyBoat CIO Bryan Petro told Forbes. “We’ve doubled, nearly tripled in size, and have 27,000 boat now.”
This isn't the first time that GetMyBoat was featured in a major publication. Last August, the New York Times took notice of the peer-to-peer watercraft rental platform, resulting in a significant spike in page views and bookings for the startup.
The idea for GetMyBoat was born when co-founders Sascha Mornell and Rafael Collado learned that the average boat is used only eight percent of the year; the rest of the time those boats sit idle, costing owners thousands in docking fees. With the sharing economy emerging thanks to companies like Airbnb and car2go, Mornell and Collado knew that the time was right to launch a similar platform for boaters.
“We wanted to make it easy and affordable for more people to get out and experience the open waters,” Mornell told NapkinBetaBeyond. “At the same time, we’ve made it safe and simple for boat owners to generate an additional source of income.”
GetMyBoat works by bringing boat owners and boating enthusiasts together. Boat owners list their watercrafts on the GetMyBoat platform while potential renters can browse through the listings by location, price, boat type, capacity, and features. Users may also charter a boat, as captains are available for hire. Insurance is also offered, starting at just $27 per day.
In addition to the browser-based platform, GetMyBoat offers a mobile app that’s free to download for iOS and Android users. The web and mobile platforms, a product of a fruitful partnership between GetMyBoat and NapkinBetaBeyond, have been generating a steady stream of views and downloads. In fact, the the GetMyBoat app has been downloaded over 15,000 times.
The benefit of using GetMyBoat is twofold: Owners are able to generate income from their boats on days when they themselves are not using them, and boating enthusiasts are able to hit the open waters without having to splurge on a boat of their own.
2015 is set to be another exciting year for GetMyBoat, and with summer just around the corner, it'll be all hands on deck for the GetMyBoat team. “We’re looking forward to the upcoming summer,” adds Mornell. “We’re gearing up for another big season!”
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