Searadar, a Vilnius-based startup running an online yacht booking and concierge services platform for skippers, has raised a seed round of €400K.
The round saw participation from startup accelerator Baltic Sandbox, former Microsoft Russia executive Dmitry Marchenko, Estonian business angel Dmitry Sumin, among other private investors from Bulgaria, Poland and the UK. The company will use these funds to further innovate their platform, which is already forecasted to exceed gross merchandise revenue of €1M in 2021.
The company, led by serial entrepreneur Dima Beznasiuk and experienced skipper Max Terbov, aims to make yacht rental easy, hassle-free and secure for the more than 2 million active licensed captains in Europe and CIS. Today, the platform already lists more than 20K yachts, sailboats and other vessels docked at ports in Croatia, Greece, Italy, Thailand and other popular destinations.
What people unfamiliar with the space don’t realize is how affordable yacht holidays really are. If a skipper goes on holiday with his friends and family for a week, they can end up paying as little as €400 per person.says Dima Beznasiuk, the company’s CEO & co-founder.
And sailing the Mediterranean is way more exciting than spending that week poolside at some hotel.
Searadar aims to bring the same level of convenience and confidence to yacht chartering that holidaymakers expect from car rental services. As renting a yacht has always been a more complicated process and captains expect everything to be ready before their journey, a simple marketplace approach would lead to more chaos than merit. Thus, the company took a more personalised, “concierge” approach.
Simply having a wide selection of boats to rent was never our end goal. The important part of our business is making it easier to not just find and rent a boat, but to customize your trip.says co-founder Max Terbov, who has already turned his lifetime hobby into a business with his own yachting events company.
That’s why we have people dedicated to consulting and guiding our users. Ultimately, we want our platform to be a start for their next adventure, and making it a pleasant start is what we’re aiming at.
The platform provides customers with multiple touchpoints – from its main website and a number of tailored landing pages to Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram chatbots.
In addition to competitive prices, it offers its users a loyalty program that provides redeemable miles for every booked charter, referred friend and yacht review. Searadar also helps handle all the day-to-day yacht rental – from crew lists and insurance. In addition, it provides 24/7 live customer support.
The total amount raised during this round is €400K. Investors include Vilnius-based accelerator Baltic Sandbox (Searadar are their alumni), former Microsoft Russia executive Dmitry Marchenko, Estonian entrepreneur and investor Dmitry Sumin, and several other business angels from Estonia, Poland and the UK.
It was about time that someone disrupted the rather conservative yacht rental space. It’s great seeing Searadar’s team implementing automated processes that work for the likes of Booking.com and AirBnB, while adding a much-needed personal touch to create a first-of-its-kind online concierge platform for captains.says Sandra Goldbreich, CEO and co-founder of Baltic Sandbox.
The startup was founded in 2017 by Dima Beznasiuk and Max Terbov. Beznasiuk, a seasoned tech entrepreneur, had previously founded Empana – an experience gifting company, and Turbodealer – a second-hand vehicle marketplace. Terbov, a life-long skipper, is also the founder of Atlantis Sailing Challenge – a yachting events organizer.
The company has their HQ in Vilnius, with colleagues working remotely from the UK, Greece, Russia and Ukraine. It projects to post €1 million in gross merchandise revenue in 2021.