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Ft. Lauderdale-based Boatsetter raises $38M in Series B round

on August 6, 2022 / by Nikki Cabus ,

Read Time 4 Minutes

Since inception in 2021, Ft. Lauderdale-based startup, Boatsetter, is quickly becoming the leading marketplace for on-the-water experiences and boat rentals.

According to Crunchbase, the startup has raised $65 million dollars which includes a Series A raise of $10 million led by WestCap Group and Valor Equity in 2019 and now a Series B raise of $38 million dollars led by Level Equity, with participation from Suntex Marinas, Certares and others.

The Digital Private Markets team of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as the sole placement agent for the deal. The Series B funding will enable Boatsetter to enrich the product features, boat inventory, and experiential offerings that have drawn over one million boaters and boat owners alike to the Boatsetter community since launch, as well as to bring Boatsetter to new markets across the globe.

With more than 50,000 boat listings in 700 locations worldwide, Boatsetter offers the most diverse collection of high-quality rental boats available, as well as a wide array of water activities. Boat owners and captains are creating new on-the-water experiences daily, including wakeboarding, sunset cruises, party boats, fishing excursions, sand bar hopping, and so much more.

Launched commercially in 2014, Boatsetter pioneered the first ever peer-to-peer boat rental insurance policy – securing exclusive coverage with GEICO & BoatUS. Now, as a result of Boatsetter’s efforts, private boat owners can rent their boats through the Boatsetter platform – reinventing what’s possible within the $60B boating industry and creating an entirely new category within the recreational, outdoor leisure and travel sharing economy.

Jaclyn Baumgarten

“Our mission has always been about celebrating the ways that the water brings people together, and making incredible on-the-water experiences more affordable and accessible to everyone, everywhere,” said Jaclyn Baumgarten, Co-Founder and CEO of Boatsetter.

“By making it simple and worry-free to book an experience through Boatsetter, we’ve been able to welcome hundreds of thousands of new boaters onto the water for the very first time. With this funding, we’ll continue to build on that momentum, bringing more boats, experiences, and markets into the Boatsetter community.”

With on-demand services such as Uber, Netflix, and Airbnb becoming more and more popular and a younger generation driven by experiences and the use of technology, Boatsetter is the perfect platform for users of all ages to create unique memorable day out on the water. From fishing boats to yacht rentals, there is a variety of price points and interests.

In a television news interview, Baumgarten had stated that the pandemic also increased the interest of people wanting to get outside, in a safe environment, and create memories. This created a new interest in boating for many who don’t own a boat or been a part of the boating community before. New boaters who are still gaining confidence at the helm can rent a boat with a captain, accessing Boatsetter’s database of United States Coast Guard certified captains – another element that sets Boatsetter apart.

“We were attracted to how Boatsetter has taken the often intimidating arena of boat rental and ownership and made it remarkably intuitive,” said Gautam Gupta, Partner at Level Equity. “They’ve put extensive work into building the infrastructure it takes to make a business like this successful in the long term, and they’ve cracked open a market for water experiences that was previously quite narrow – attracting hundreds of thousands of new boaters and boat owners of all ages and backgrounds in the process.”

While Boatsetter has filled a much-needed void for consumers who may not have had access to the water before, it has also created paths to entrepreneurship for many boat owners who see the best in class return on investment they can achieve from renting their vessels via Boatsetter, as well as the peace of mind provided by Boatsetter’s turnkey service, which manages every aspect from matching them with qualified renters to putting the insurance in place to collecting payment.

Boatsetter has seen steady growth and adoption of its technology, doubling its year-over-year bookings in 2021. Renters can download the Boatsetter app or visit the website to book a boat in less than five minutes and be out on the water the next day.

Ft. Lauderdale-based Boatsetter raises $38M in Series B round