Miami Tech & Startup News

On a wave of growth, Boatsetter rides in a $38M Series B round

On a wave of growth, Boatsetter rides in a $38M Series B round

By Nancy Dahlberg

With more than 50,000 boat listings in 700 markets around the globe, Boatsetter is already a leading marketplace for boat rentals and on-the-water experiences in the sharing economy.

Now with a new funding round, the South Florida startup will expand its boat inventory and boating experience offerings as well as launch new markets.

Boatsetter announced today that it has raised $38 million in Series B funding led by Level Equity, with participation Suntex Marinas, Certares and others. In total, Boatsetter has raised $65 million, according to Crunchbase, including a $10 million Series A in 2019.

“We are so excited about the next chapter for Boatsetter,” said Jaclyn Baumgarten, co-founder and CEO of Boatsetter. “This funding is going to play an important role in allowing us to grow our team and talent, expand our product offering with unique on-water experiences, and continue to invest in new features and capabilities that enable more boat owners and business owners to achieve financial flexibility and freedom, and become entrepreneurs on the water through our vibrant marketplace.”

The capital will also support Boatsetter’s market expansion. In the US, this will include Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa Bay and Fort Myers in Florida as well as lake-centric locations in Georgia and the Carolinas, Baumgarten told Refresh Miami.

On the Boatsetter platform, people can search and book unique experiences on the water that fit a variety of price points and interests. New boaters who are gaining confidence at the helm can rent a boat with a Coast Guard certified captain, and they can benefit from this summer’s launch of Boatsetter Academy, which provides a free introduction course for new boaters.

For boat owners, Boatsetter’s owner-facing mobile application makes it easy for them to earn money by supplying them with qualified renters and managing the logistics – from easy booking flow to secure payment collection, said Baumgarten, and there is more to come. “We are very excited about this new round of funding to further enhance our owner success program, the next evolution of Boatsetter Academy, and the rollout of our loyalty program and VIP club membership.”

During the pandemic, when people were searching for safe and fun outdoor experiences, demand surged – and the growth has continued. “Since the start of 2022, we have both doubled our bookings and seen a 50% increase in the number of boats listed year-over-year — including 140% growth in the number of available fishing boat rentals and fishing charters,” Baumgarten said.

Instant and Multi-Day bookings have contributed to Boatsetter’s growth by reducing lead times to book a boat or experience at the last minute, or for several consecutive days. Boatsetter is the first and only online marketplace to launch and offer these booking options on the app and website, she said. Over the last year, Boatsetter saw a 140 percent increase in Instant Book requests, as well as a 20 percent increase in Multi-Day bookings.

To date, more than one million boaters and boat owners have used the platform, which features more than 20,000 makes and models of boats, kayaks to yachts. “We are committed to making on-water experiences accessible and affordable, and we love to see first-time boaters discovering new boating activities and all that the boating lifestyle has to offer,” Baumgarten said. 

Boatsetter, co-founded by Baumgarten and Andrew Sturner nearly a decade ago, is one of South Florida’s most successful homegrown scaleups. Boatsetter’s team totals nearly 100 people, and the majority of them live in Florida. “We’re actively recruiting from local universities and communities to support our growing initiatives — for marketing and product positions to sales associates, UX/UI designers and Software development engineers,” said Baumgarten, who is also an Endeavor Entrepreneur.

Boatsetter launched Boatsetter Lux last year, growing its yachts business in hundreds of locations around the world, including the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico, Greece, Italy, Turkey, France and Southeast Asia. Also last year, Boatsetter acquired Fisher Guiding to expand in the fishing charter market, enabling Boatsetter to to provide fishing experiences at all budgets.

“We were attracted to how Boatsetter has taken the often intimidating arena of boat rental and ownership and made it remarkably intuitive,” said Gautam Gupta, Partner at Level Equity, in a statement. “They’ve put extensive work into building the infrastructure it takes to make a business like this successful in the long term, and they’ve cracked open a market for water experiences that was previously quite narrow – attracting hundreds of thousands of new boaters and boat owners of all ages and backgrounds in the process.” 

This story has been updated. Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg and email her at


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