For many people, chartering a boat, any boat, while on holiday is something for wealthier individuals and, indeed, it frequently is. But startup Zizoo, which maintains offices in Berlin and Vienna, has created a platform that makes it simple to charter, sometimes pretty cheaply a variety of boats while you are on that vacation.
In order to get a feel for the service, I went ahead and did a sample search (Croatia, in this case, but you can pick specific cities). I found that you start by listing the number of passengers and identifying the type of craft you would like to charter, searching through catamarans, gulets, speedboats, sailboats, and motorboats. This brings up a list of options, which offer a photo of the boat and list the daily rate, location, and capacity. That list can be sorted by price or “recommended”, while the list can be filtered down by boat type, price, boat length, or brand. It is possible to click to include unavailable boats in your listings, as well, so you know all of the options that may be available if you are flexible with regards to the date of your excursion. Indeed, this type of activity seems more geared towards affluent individuals, with many options listed at several hundred (or even thousand) Euro per day. But I also found quite a few cheaper options, as well, with boats in Croatia going for as low as 25 Euro per day. There are 5,000 boats available, with Zizoo claiming more than 300 boating companies as clients.
Like other marketplaces, Zizoo has opted for a commission-based revenue model, taking a cut whenever operators complete a booking. At this point, the startup reports that they process about 1 million Euro in monthly bookings, with a 50% rate of growth.
Zizoo went live over a year ago, launching in May 2014. CEO and co-founder Anna Banicevic tells me that they have 700K Euro in backing from investors like Axel Springer PnP, a mix of U.S. and European angel backers, and the Austrian State Development Fund. One noteworthy piece of info about this startup is that they are partnering both with marinas and and SunExpress Airlines, allowing travelers to book packages that includes boat trips.