Zizoo, a leading boat rental platform, closed a 1.7m. euros venture round with investments from Mairdumont Ventures, aws Founder Fund , Russmedia, Axel Springer Digital Ventures, Axel Springer Plug and Play accelerator as well as a mix of European and US superangel investors active in the travel industry. The company has received 2.5m. euros in total funding so far.
CEO Anna Banicevic comments: “Zizoo is proud to have been backed by top European travel and digital players, such as Mairdumont Ventures and aws Founder Fund. We are also thrilled to welcome our newly joined US investors, including Sam Shank, founder and CEO of travel startup success story Hoteltonight. This is an important step for us in terms of our expansion plans in the vUSA.”
Following Zizoo’s sterling performance in 2015 with a 35% average monthly growth in bookings, the round was significantly oversubscribed. “It’s great to be in a position where we can scale the current operations and create a strong barrier for anyone thinking of taking a slice of Zizoo’s core markets. Our focus is now on the future and reaching even more firsttime and experienced boaters worldwide.”
The successful closing of the round is an indicator of Europe’s largest investors’ view on where the global boat holiday market is going, expected to hit 46bn. euros by 2020. Zizoo is leading the way in making boat holidays mainstream and open to a mass audience of travellers.
“In 3 years’ time, renting a boat for a couple of days will be an industry standard, like renting a room on Airbnb is today. The travel market needs a refreshment in terms of utilising inventory and modernising the industry overall. We provide a unique holiday experience, often cheaper than staying in a hotel.”
Zizoo makes boat holidays easy and affordable for everyone by offering boat operators direct access to the global market via its charter management platform. This gives Zizoo unique positioning in scaling and the full guarantee of a verified experience for its clients, who are predominately from Germany, Austria, UK and USA. Funds from the current round will be used to scale ongoing growth, focusing on Zizoo’s core markets and acquiring new talent. Zizoo’s management is selective in its hiring process, with a focus on candidates with digital background.
The company currently employs online specialists, bringing experience from Microsoft, Booking.com and Lieferando.de, among others. “There is plenty to be excited about. Although there are 28MN boats worldwide, the industry itself lags behind when it comes to digitalisation and customer experience. We’re here to change that.”