Borrow a Boat

Borrow a Boat Group completes acquisition of Zizoo as part of growth strategy for 2024

Borrow A Boat (of The Boat Engine Group), based in London, and the UK’s leading boating marketplace has completed the purchase of Berlin-based boating marketplace, Zizoo, to create one of the biggest boating marketplaces worldwide.

The acquisition of Zizoo is part of Borrow A Boat´s growth strategy as the company looks to expand operations globally, and consolidate other markets.  Borrow A Boat has been adding platforms to its group over the years to serve an expanding and increasingly digitized boat-rental market.  Through the acquisition of Zizoo, a leader in multi-day rental / boating holiday segment, the group will expand its inventory to over 60,000 boats in more than 65 countries worldwide, and become one of world´s top 3 biggest boat rental marketplaces.

Borrow A Boat which also owns the leading day-hire boat rental platform in Europe, Barqo, has operations in London and Amsterdam and will combine with Zizoo´s teams in Berlin and Athens (Greece) to build their global reach.  

The coming-together will enable synergies across the group in tech, automation and best-in-class customer experience to enable scalable global growth.  The European-based platform will be one of the only marketplaces in the industry covering all three key market segments in boat rentals:, day-hires, boating holidays, and luxury crewed charters.

Matt Ovenden, CEO and Founder of Borrow a Boat, comments: “The boat rental market is one of the fastest growing travel segments and we’re on a mission to make boating more accessible to everyone - worldwide. The acquisition of Zizoo will create one of the biggest boating marketplaces in the world, with a global footprint, customer base and reach, allowing us to enhance our marketplace of exceptional boating experiences. By incorporating Zizoo’s own technology, teams and solutions, we will also be able to continue to deliver a high service offering for our industry colleagues who we work with on a daily basis.

“We understand as a consumer-facing business, this process may come with some questions for customers who have booked experiences for 2024 and beyond with Zizoo, however we want to reassure everyone that we will be doing our upmost to ensure minimum disruption on any existing bookings, and will have a dedicated team on hand to help field any enquiries or questions around those for Zizoo customers.”

Anna Banicevic, founder of Zizoo adds: “The successful closing of the sale of Zizoo to Borrow A Boat’s group is good news for our industry colleagues and customers. Zizoo has gone through a tremendous growth journey over the years which also brought some operational challenges that culminated in the last few months in a tough funding environment and we believe this is an opportunity for a new journey with a player that shares our tech vision but also a goal of stability and customer-centricity. 

"We believe that joining The Boat Engine Group will allow us to collaboratively create an even more powerful engine to drive change, innovation and amazing customer experiences in the industry and wider travel market. We are very much aligned with them and their mission to make boating as accessible and easy to access as it should be, for all.”

And for boating customers in these new regions it’s good news – as they may now have even more choice of boating options than previously. Borrow A Boat’s platform contains not only yachting holiday rentals but also a wide range of day boat rentals, through to weekend charters, to weeklong boating trips and a large selection of luxury crewed charters. Boat types that are available include RIBs, sailing yachts, catamarans, motor yachts and even a selection of over 1,800 “Below Deck”-style crewed superyachts.

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