Never give up!

Samboat puts private boat owners and potential renters in touch

Please introduce yourself and your startup Samboat to our readers!
Hello, I am Laurent Calando, Samboat’s co-founder. SamBoat puts private boat owners and potential renters in touch in an easy, friendly, and safe manner. Similar to how Airbnb connects people with apartments, boat owners list their boat for free on the website. Owners can pick when and to whom they want to rent their boat, according to the applicant’s pro le, request, and comments.

It’s a win-win situation, thanks to Samboat, sailors have access to a vast offering of boats everywhere in the world, for rates on average 30% cheaper than the traditional market. Its making boat rental more affordable while helping owner to reduce their maintenance cost

How did you get the idea to Samboat?
It all started when I, realized that my boat was too expensive to maintain and I was using it less than two weeks a year. During this time, I was working in Paris and I met Nicolas Cargou, the futur co founder. I was planning to sell my boat but Nicolas convinced me to rent it instead.

However, no website was in place to help me renting my boat. By digging a little bit further, we discovered that I was not the only person with an expensive and little used boat.

Hence, Samboat was born.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
When we first started, we faced two main difficulties. The first one was to convince boat owners to put their boat to rent. They had a lot of skepticism. Indeed, it was all new at this time ! We had to explained them, one by one, all the benefits they could receive from boat rentals.
The second difficulty was to find an insurance to cover all the risks. At first we had nothing but once we started to gain traction and had a strong product-market fit, Insurance companies were all ears with us.

Who is your target audience?
We are an online marketplace, similar to Airbnb or Uber, and we need to source both side of this marketplace. Our targets audiences are every boat owners and people with or without a boating licence, wishing to enjoy a day on the water.

This is the chicken and eggs problem. In order to attract the customers, we need to have enough boats in various destinations. In order to attract boat owners, we need to have enough customers looking to rent a boat. Fortunately, right now, we have the biggest offer on the marketplace.

What is the USP of your startup?
Samboat puts its trust in people to rent their boats ethically on the platform, who, in turn, put their trust in travellers to leave the boat as they found it. Meanwhile, travellers have to trust that the boat they’re renting will live up to expectation.
Ultimately, it is the reviews – for both the boat owners and the renters – that hold it all together.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
None of the days are the same. We are moving at a fast pace here at Samboat. Everyday, I have to find the right balance between strategic decisions, managing team, reporting to the investors. Boredome never exist when you are an entrepreneur !

Where do you see yourself and your startup Samboat in five years?
Five year from now, I see Samboat ensuring its worldwide leadership position in the boat rental industry. Currently, our offers are mainly focused in Europe and developing overseas is part of our long term vision.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
Launching your own business is a fantastic adventure. You’ll face numerous difficulties and you’ll need to be resilient. However it worth it. Within 3 years after launching Samboat, Forbes named us the world leader in this highly competitive market. We are in Hyper-growth, currently expanding our business worldwide and the coming years are looking great !

So here are my 3 tips to other startup founders :
-believe in yourself
– be resilient
– never give up.

The last one is probably my favorite tips. Jack Ma, Alibaba’s CEO, because he failed so many times before running his company ! He has been rejected from 30 different jobs, even from KFC… He showed to the world that everything is possible with persistence.

More information you will find here

Thank you Laurent Calando for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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