GetMyBoat is a global boat rental and water experience marketplace
Introduce yourself and the start-up GetMyBoat to our readers.
I’m Sascha Mornell, and I am the CEO and Co-Founder of GetMyBoat. GetMyBoat is a global boat rental and water experience marketplace, with 130,000 boats across 9,300 destinations. We offer everything on the water, from luxury yachts to kayak rentals, scuba diving trips and more. All experiences can be searched and booked from our website, or on-the-go with our mobile app.
Why did you decide to found the company? What were the reasons behind it?
GetMyBoat began when serial entrepreneurs and co-founders Rafael Collado and myself (Sascha Mornell) were out on the water and took noticed to all the boats sitting unused in their dock slips. We were fully aware that there are thousands of people who don’t own boats, but who would love to get out on the water. We asked ourselves, “How can more people gain access to great boating experiences for less?” With a few years later and with the emergence of the sharing economy, we brought GetMyBoat to life.
What’s the vision behind GetMyBoat?
Our vision is to open up the world of boating for both renters and owners. Boating enthusiasts get the benefits of worldwide inventory without the cost or headache of ownership. And as the average boat is only used 8% of the year, boat owners get the chance to make owning a boat more affordable by earning some income from their under-utilized asset.
We aim to enrich lives with meaningful experiences and joy. Our mascot, Joy the Dolphin, embodies the playfulness and fun that being near and on the water offers. Joy also represents our focus on being a champion to protect and defend the marine environment.
From the initial concept to today: How difficult was the start and what have been the biggest challenges?
From the initial launch back in January 2013 to today has been quite the journey. We initially focused on two areas when we started the company, building an amazing product and also focusing on our sales program. The actual launch of the company went pretty smooth and it was somewhat easy to sell new boat owners to be listed on GetMyBoat. With GetMyBoat being a two-sided marketplace, we have to not only generate demand for people wanting to go boating but we also have to create a supply of boats/boat owners to fulfill the demand.
One of the reasons we started the company was due to the fragmented nature of the boat rental industry. However, until we started to generate enough data to spot trends, we did not realize how fragmented it truly was. We soon realized that the boating industry was in need of standardization. From different cities to states to countries, nothing was standardized. Communication expectations, transparency, pricing, customer service, reviews, payment, nothing had been put together that allowed a person to easily rent a boat anywhere in the world, with as little friction as we now have with GetMyBoat.
Who is GetMyBoat’s target audience?
Anyone who wants to get out on the water! A huge demographic for us is the millennial generation, as they are more open to renting instead of owning, and the vast majority cannot afford a boat and the expenses that come along with it. 75% of GetMyBoaters are under the age of 44.
That being said, we also welcome and encourage the older generation to use our platform, so they can enjoy boating during their retirement travels. It makes sense for people who’d prefer to rent instead of investing in a boat during their later years. It’s much less work and stress for older people who just want the enjoyment of being out on the waves.
What is the USP of your start-up?
Our USP is that we are the largest marketplace of our kind, with a fleet of boats 130,000 spanning 184 countries. Our app makes it easy to search and book experiences, no matter where you are in the world. It’s a seamless process and we offer 24-hour customer support and price transparency.
How does GetMyBoat work? What are the advantages of GetMyBoat?
Using GetMyBoat is simple. From a renter’s side, you can download our app or go to our website, search the area you are looking to visit, sort boats and experiences by type, price, and guest count. Once you find a boat or experience you would like to book you can select the dates and pay for the rental. Or you can send the owner an inquiry to answer any outstanding questions you might have.
From the owner’s side, you can easily list your boat by setting availability, prices, requirements, photos, videos, and promote your experience. Once a guest books the boat you have the opportunity to vet the guest, approve or create a custom quote for each guest, all while facilitating the payment for the booking. We give an owner the tools they need to run their business and also turn their boat into a profit.
GetMyBoat, what direction are you planning on going in? Where do you see the company in 5 years’ time?
We want to grow our fleet of boats on the platform to offer even more options for renters, build a strong presence in top boating destinations around the world, and become the go-to app for all boating and water experiences.
Finally, name 3 helpful hints/tips you have for emerging start-up founders.
Set Short and Long-Term Goals. When you are starting your company you should be planning a few sets of goals to cover your initial short term growth goals and then your long term lofty goals. This will not only help you track your companies performance but also help you better manage your funding.
Use data to justify your decisions. The start-up world is full of contradicting advice and different strategies that various founders have used to find success. You will have to experiment to figure out what actually works for your business. Use data to justify all decisions – if something you try doesn’t have a payoff or help you grow, don’t keep doing it just because it worked for other startups. The data you gather should help you focus in on where to focus your energy to hit the short and long term goals you set.
Stay Focused. If you followed the advice from point number one and two, then you should be on your way to growing. When growth starts too slow, it’s tempting to shift focus to what other startups are doing or chase new avenues for growth that are not proven to work. This is where your initial research will come into play as you should have an idea of the size of the market you are addressing. Take this along with data you are gathering on your growth and goals, to better hone in on where to focus for growth. Sometimes the growth comes from doubling down on an existing strategy versus chasing the latest trend.
More information you will find here
Thank you Sascha Mornell for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.