Yanmar invests $21m in GetMyBoat in hopes for digital charter boost


Yanmar America has acquired a majority stake in boat rentals and charter app GetMyBoat, as parent company Yanmar Holdings invests $21m in Series B funding in the business to boost its digital revenues.

Yanmar Holding’s chief strategy officer Shiori Nagata told Superyacht Investor (SYI): “Yanmar is continuing its commitment to using advanced technology to transform into a consumer-focused brand via this acquisition. Together, we’re not only shaping the next generation of marine recreation but also reaching future generations of consumers globally.”

GetMyBoat has grown its net revenues 10-fold in the past two years. It attributes the improvement to investments in technology and customer services. A GetMyBoat spokesman told SYI: “With the support and growth capital from Yanmar, we will be able to fully capture the rising interest in recreational boating that has taken off in the past two years.” The company has built a transformational set of tools for owners, he claimed. “Not only are they able to use GetMyBoat to take their company online and mobile but can manage and grow their business with an entirely new set of customers that they had previously never had access to.”

Both businesses hope the offer of digital charter, compared with over-the-phone bookings between customers and brokers, will them exploit rising interests in boating during the Covid-19 global pandemic. Until now digital charter has proved relatively slow to grow its share of the market. GetMyBoat says it is on track to send 2m people boating before the end of 2022.

The shift in the industry is to a fully self-serve model, enabling customers to book what they want, when they want it, seamlessly and completely online”, said the GetMyBoat spokesman. “They can communicate directly with the charter operators and enjoy a much easier process.”  Customers are looking for easier ways to book outdoor recreational services and that is a fundamental factors behind increased growth, he added.

Based in San Francisco, GetMyBoat, has more than 150,000 vessels available for charter and water experiences in 9,300 destinations across 184 countries. The company’s busiest markets include: the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, South Florida, Southern California, and Mexico.

The company plans to increase its global team to achieve its growth ambitions. GetMyBoat will continue to be run by the current executive team as a stand-alone entity. Commenting on the company’s four-year partnership with Yanmar, based in Osaka, Japan, its CEO and co-founder Sascha Mornell said: “We mutually share a passion to democratise boating globally. Having Yanmar’s support, partnership, and growth capital will give us the opportunity to truly realise this dream. The future ahead for GetMyBoat and Yanmar working together is very bright.”