Borrow A Boat acquires Dutch competitor Barqo

London-based Borrow A Boat has acquired Barqo, an Amsterdam-based platform for domestic boat rental.

With this development, the company aims to bring an additional 5,000+ boats to the marketplace for peer-to-peer (P2P) boat charter, as well as a 100,000+ strong customer base. Borrow a Boat currently lists over 35,000 boats in more than 65 countries.

This news follow its launches in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in 2021, as well as the acquisition of specialist charter brokerage Helm.

Barquo, founded in 2014 by Thijs Janssen, Dennis van Kappen, and Floris van Hoogenhuyze, is a P2P boat-sharing platform in the Netherlands, connecting owners who have a boat to sailors who want to get out on the water.

In June 2021, Barqo signed a deal with Samboat, a Bordeaux-based online marketplace for P2P boat rentals and yacht charters, to create what is said to be the most active and largest range of boats in Europe.

“This acquisition will strengthen Barqo’s position in the Dutch market and will fuel the growth into other European markets, thanks to the high level of synergy that our companies have together,” says Janssen. “Our system and Borrow A Boat’s ambition are a very good match.”

Matt Ovenden, CEO and founder of Borrow A Boat, comments: “After a successful 2021, including securing over £1M in investment via crowdfunding, we’re thrilled to have kicked off the year with such a firm move into the European market.

“This acquisition further reinforces our position as one of the world’s leading yacht charter marketplaces and we’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2022 brings.”

Founded in 2016, Borrow A Boat is a yacht and boat charter portal for boat owners, charter companies, and those wishing to take a boat out. The platform helps find and rent boats, from a canal and riverboats across Europe to a sailing yachts, motor boats, catamaran, including luxury yachts and superyachts. 

Borrow A Boat has raised over £4.8M in funding to date from a mixture of crowdfunding, private investors, and venture capital investors, and is now planning a potential IPO this year – which will be a first for a boat charter marketplace.

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