Sunbeams warming your upturned face as you recline in a deck chair. The rhythm of gentle breezes softly rocking you from side to side. Distant sea bird calls lulling you into a long-awaited exhalation as you slowly unwind and release the pent-up frustrations of daily living. Those are the moments that await you when you relax on your own boat. Can’t afford your own boat? No problem. Those magical moments can still be yours thanks to a travel startup out of Austria.
Based out of Vienna, Zizooboats is bringing the sharing economy to the open waters. Part sailing community, part online travel booking agency, and part boating marketplace, Zizooboats connects boat owners with boat renters. Want to go sailing off the coast of Aruba? Not a problem. Looking for a boat in Baska Voda? Got you covered. Need to check Greek sailing off of your bucket list? Yup, that’s doable too. Zizooboats connects international charter boat operators and boat owners with boat renters on one easy-to-use platform, eliminating the need for boating enthusiasts to visit multiple sites just to find the perfect boat.
Zizooboats allows consumers to choose their dates and location and then offers a selection of available boats. Currently booking boats in Aruba, Croatia, Greece, Sweden, and Thailand, Zizooboats is expanding to other countries, thus allowing boaters to find the boat of their dreams in just about any country around the globe. With boat reviews and location based services (ala AirBnb) combined with a one-stop-shop booking platform, Zizooboats aims to erase the pain point of finding a bookable boat and paying for it online. Instead of spending countless hours surfing the web for an available boat, renters can instead be deciding how much sun screen they’ll need as they lounge on board their newly-booked vacation boat. By providing a global portal for charter operators and boat owners, Zizooboats increases their exposure to international customers while simplifying the boat rental process for customers at the same time.
As a startup, Zizooboats has a multi-player team charting their course (sorry, couldn’t resist). Co-founders include Anna Banicevic (CEO), Benito Gonzalez Del Valle, Sinan Masovic (CFO), and Ivan Miletic (CTO). With eight full-time staff members, Zizooboats is growing their startup with offices in Zagreb, Croatia and Vienna, Austria. In under three months, they’ve built their bevy of boats to over 1000 boats and are striving for 4000 by the end of 2014. With existing competitors in the peer-to-peer space, Zizooboats is hoping that by building a strong infrastructure and enabling customer reviews, one-stop booking, and online payments for boat rental transactions, they’ll be able to solidify a reputation as a trusted community. If their startup ‘sets sail’ as planned, Zizooboats estimates that they’ll enjoy over 20,000 bookings in 2015. By streamlining the boat rental process and providing boats at a variety of different price points, Zizooboats aims to change the perception that spending time on board a boat is only for the rich and well-connected.
If the thought of spending your summer vacation lounging on the deck of a bobbing boat makes your heart beat a little faster, check out Zizooboats for yourself. It never hurts to dream, and this startup just might make those daydreams a reality.