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United Ventures leads funding round for Marinanow

Italian berth booking startup Marinanow said Monday that it has secured 370,000 euros in funding. United Ventures led the round.

London, 28th July – Marinanow, the online platform for people who want to book berths for their boats, today announced €370,000 of early stage investment from a round led by United Ventures, the European technology-focused Venture Capital firm.

In a bid to offer the best and easiest product on the market for berth and charter booking, Marinanow aims to take advantage of all nautical leisure-related services across the globe; a market which has a yearly value of over €200bn.

Founded in Sardinia, Italy, in 2012, Marinanow was the brainchild of three friends who had spent their lives working in marinas and with boats around the Costa Smeralda. Alessandro Sestini, Paolo Codina and Andrea Corvaglia witnessed the problems that thousands of sailors and marinas faced when trying to book berths and using their backgrounds both in IT and the nautical sector, they set about creating an online booking platform.

Their aim was simple: to create a platform where anyone could search by location through a database of all the available berths worldwide, then book and pay for them online.

Having been selected to take part in the acceleration program Seed Revolution hosted in The Net Value incubator, Marinanow created a beta product that was tested in the summer of 2013 with great success. They then set about completing the platform as well as adding new features including boat chartering, hiring berths from privates (an Airbnb style service for the nautical world) and refuelling services in order to be fully functioning for the summer of 2014.

The platform is now home to over 1000 marinas and ports with 4000 boats covering Italy, France, Spain and Croatia.

The funding raised from United Ventures’ and a series of angels will be used to expand their database of berths and boats across the Mediterranean and the rest of Europe and implement an online marketing campaign to increase the user base.

Whilst the hotel and flight booking markets are undoubtedly larger in volume, the nautical sector remains an incredibly lucrative market and Marinanow aims to tap into this largely underserviced area. Maxi yachts can charter for hundreds of thousand of Euros every week and additional services like bunkerage (refuelling of the boats) can easily double this number, which makes for a very attractive prospect when scaled worldwide.

Alessandro Sestini, CEO of Marinanow, said, “Having experienced first hand the difficulties that exist when trying to book a berth, we realized that there was a market for a better solution, so we took a proven business model from the hotel and flight booking industry and applied it to a similar industry that is surprisingly badly served from a technological standpoint. The first round funding from United Ventures and our Angel Investors allows us to expand much quicker than we would have been able to and cover the whole of Europe by next year.”

Mario Mariani, United Ventures’ Managing Partner, said, “We have been very impressed both by the experience and the drive of the Marinanow team and think that they have picked an exciting market. We are looking forward to helping Marinanow expand throughout the Mediterranean and eventually into the rest of the world.”

About United Ventures
United Ventures is a dynamic European technology-focused Venture Capital firm, the largest in Italy. Founded in 2013, it is dedicated to driving visionary entrepreneurs with a passion for disruptive, scalable technologies to success on a global stage. Adopting a multi-staged strategy, the firm provides finance, mentorship and business development support for those at seed stage through to established companies looking to launch into new markets. The team comprises institutional investors and successful digital entrepreneurs with a notable track record at both executive and investing levels. Their portfolio includes 20Lines, Halldis, LoveTheSign, Cloud4Wi, AppsBuilder, Bad Seed and MoneyFarm.

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