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Startups to watch in 2023

Yachting Ventures highlights those companies that will be making waves in the coming year…

As we approach the festive season companies begin to review their practices and look ahead to the plan for the new year. As new disruptors are introduced to the superyacht industry in the form of innovative tech and services, SuperyachtNews spoke to Gabriella Richardson, founder of Yachting Ventures about how the market is changing. Yachting Ventures offers a niche service helping startups grow within the yachting industry.

Richardson points out “There has definitely been a shift and a change in attitude over the past few years. I think the industry as a whole is starting to realise the importance of supporting startups and entrepreneurs trying to bring new products and services to the market, or iterate on existing business models to raise user and customer service standards.” Richardson elaborates on how her company has been received by the industry: “Yachting Ventures as a brand has acted as a kind of magnet in the sense that people who are interested in startups in the marine space reach out to us all the time asking for information and congratulating us on what we’ve built.” Yachting Ventures have recommended those startups that the industry should have its eye on in 2023:

Yacht Sentinel

Intelligent monitoring systems allow owners to track a vessel’s metrics and remotely control any smart devices aboard. Yacht Sentinel competes in the IoT Cloud-enabled SaaS marine domain market and in early 2023, the startup will release their next-gen connected boat solution. YS Pro supports a wide range and a large number of smart devices, accessories and sensors (door, PIR, smoke detector, camera, water leak, etc). It can collect any type of data from the 'backbones' of the superyacht using 4 CAN buses, Ethernet & Modbus.

Crew members, captains and owners can monitor, visualise, access and control all the boat's data with the Yacht Sentinel mobile app and CRM system (called Partner Platform). Their objective is to provide a single point of truth to remotely access a boat's metrics and records at any time – including fluid levels, power, solar panels, batteries, engines, temperature, maintenance, user manuals, warranty and much more.

YS Pro officially launched at METSTRADE this year and orders will be processed in early 2023. It's an exciting time for Yacht Sentinel as they shift focus into overseas markets and specifically into the Superyacht market.

Boatique 

The convenience of having any product, whether from a pharmacy or a restaurant, delivered to the vessel is certainly a useful service. Boatique brings the top luxury-product manufacturers into one online marketplace platform.

Top of the range custom-made products can be delivered at any port. The startup has made it a focus to prioritize streamlined logistics and has thus retained a potential for huge scalability. Yacht sales boomed during the pandemic and as all seasons have returned to their full operation, Boatique has found that their daily requests and sales have gradually increased. There is a huge demand for new and innovative brands as well as the popular classics and they have created a space where both can be found.

Charter Itinerary

Tech has certainly eased the more mundane organisational activities. Charter Itinerary offers a brilliantly easy-to-navigate and fully interactive platform. Many of the biggest names in yachting have been added to Charter Itinerary's client list with more signing up every day. With over 900 accounts, Charter Itinerary has influenced how industry professionals plan, produce and present itineraries with some exciting plans on the horizon.

A business born out of a problem, the founders, Boris De Bel and Candice Christiansen, came from different ends of the yachting industry but shared the same frustrations with the previously laborious and extremely time-consuming exercise of creating professional itineraries.

Moving from a once very manual process, this first-of-its-kind platform has automated and streamlined a task that would normally take hours, turning it into something that takes a few minutes at most.

According to the founders, charter bokers have advised that in some cases, their clients have booked charters purely off the back of receiving an itinerary created by the Charter Itinerary platform. Not only is Charter Itinerary a time saver that creates a premium product, but it is also a valuable sales tool for the industry.

An exciting new feature is the Yacht Proposal Module, which allows the user to present a selection of yachts suitable to their charter clients that summarises all key features, charter fees, APA and VAT.

Charter Itinerary have automated the laborious task of creating proposals which can now be beautifully presented, fully interactive and editable, adding to the platform’s value as a product that will help sell charters.

ZeroJet  

ZeroJet designs and manufactures electric jet propulsion systems for tenders, meeting the growing demand for powerful, quiet, safe, sustainable and reliable boating. The New Zealand based company was founded by Bex Rempel and Neil Mans, with the goal of eliminating the need for combustion engines on small watercraft.

Over the last year, ZeroJet’s pilot production run has been sold internationally, and the company has developed partnerships with a number of internationally renowned boat builders. In the year ahead ZeroJet aims to expand internationally while investing in R&D to develop systems for larger tenders.

Nauta 

New York-based Nauta is completely rethinking how and who can access superyacht experiences by bridging unserved, new demographics with on-demand, same-day superyacht bookings. Leveraging proprietary technology and creative business planning, Nauta is capitalizing on a growing trend towards a sharing economy welcomed by increasingly younger, wealthier, and experience-seeking demographics while unlocking profitability for superyacht owners in an industry trained to believe that ownership is unprofitable.

Since closing on its $0.5M pre-seed fundraising in Summer 2022, Nauta has built out its go-to-market technology infrastructure, soft-launched early trip bookings for a 41x return on marketing investment, and is currently in owner conversations in anticipation of an expected launch in the first half of 2023. 

Crewdentials  

With a Crewdentials account, seafarers regain control of their data, and choose who to share it with. They are digitalising the collation, verification and management of credentials for crew and maritime businesses and have spent the last two years developing the platform in collaboration with early adopters.

More recently Crewdentials have been working closely with other like-minded software companies and maritime businesses, forming strategic partnerships with a reach of approx. 50,000 vessels across the commercial and yachting sectors. They’ve been quietly laying the foundations since 2020 and are now in a position to start changing the way credentials are managed within the maritime industry.

Voltsafe 

VoltSafe is a Canadian startup that is reinventing the electrical plug and setting a new standard in shore power and marine electrical safety. Their patented technology is a blueprint to create an “electricity gate”, eliminating the need to internally hide plug contacts (i.e., prongs). Picture Apple’s MagSafe, just for high power applications like marine shore power.

VoltSafe is poised to enter the marine segment across multiple product lines for 2023. They expect to soon sign a binding licensing agreement with a global multi-billion dollar corporation to develop and take to market a marine electrical connector solution powered by VoltSafe technology.

Also in 2023, VoltSafe expects to launch its next-generation 30, 50 and 100 amp recreational marine connectors, and launch its marina pedestal and level 2+ shore power charging solutions. The technology can be scaled to meet the needs of personal watercraft, recreational boating, yachts, industrial shipping, Navy vessels, and more.

Seasy 

"Marina booking made easy" is what Seasy promises to offer. The startup has experienced a record summer - their number of active users is now at +200,000 (x3 higher than 2021) and the number of berth bookings facilitated through the platform is set to hit +10,000 in 2022. After recently raising a 7-digit funding round, Seasy is now preparing for expansion and introducing new technologies to their growing customer base in 2023.

According to founder Niklas Baumgartner, “Marina booking made easy” is just the beginning of what will soon be a much more comprehensive platform for boaters. When Seasy was founded in 2020 it caught the wave of digitization in the nautical market to improve customer satisfaction and ease the booking process of marinas.

In cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) it is developing new technologies to provide all boaters with more information about their next destination. The Seasy team, which is growing rapidly in conjunction with tripling its user numbers every year, is currently hiring and looking for investors with an extensive market network.

Aquator 

Aquator Marine was founded based on the belief that the power of yacht software is becoming increasingly more essential to yacht management. Their services solve the need for accurate, timely, and interpretive data, which is critical to a yacht’s safety, operability, and longevity. The startups objective is to provide data-driven solutions that improve productivity, are more cost-effective, and provide interactive ways to manage yacht-related activities.

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Startups to watch in 2023

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