Dream Yacht Charter, number 1 in professional yacht charter, announced on November 6, 2018 the purchase of the SamBoat online rental platform. Since 2001, the company has been the world's largest charter company, with a physical fleet of more than 1000 boats, and was founded by Loïc Bonnet. It has been a long-standing player in the rental of boats between private individuals. Samboat, created in 2014 by Laurent Calando and Nicolas Cargou in Bordeaux for yachtsmen, opened its doors a year ago to professional rental companies. The platform now offers 25,000 sailboats and motorboats in 120 countries.
Loïc Bonnet, founder of Dream Yacht Charter
A digital tool to reach boaters
With SamBoat, the Dream Yacht Charter group acquires proven support and skills to reach boaters on the Internet. The two founders and their team of 20 employees will continue their work within the SamBoat entity, while providing their technical expertise for the development of Dream Yacht Charter's global digital platform. As the Bénéteau group did a few days ago with the acquisition of Digital Nautic Dream Yacht Charter relies on a start-up to accelerate its online development.
The acquisition of SamBoat follows many other acquisitions. While Dream Yacht Charter does 35% of its business directly, the majority goes through brokers through specialized booking platforms. To satisfy as many customers as possible with boats that can belong to other charter companies, the group has bought brokers located in several European countries, such as Argos in Germany, Vents de Mer in France or Latesail in England . Dream Yacht Charter had also bought the Boaterfly rental website last year, proof of the group's interest in the sector, although the platform is less active than SamBoat.
Laurent Calando and Nicolas Cargou, founders of SamBoat
Vertical integration in the yachting industry
The operation was carried out by Dream Yacht Charter with the support of the Next Stage fund. In a press release, the latter stated that he had contributed ?2.9 million to a total ?5 million fundraising campaign launched for the buyback. It is important to remember that Next Stage was already present in the capital of Dream Yacht Charter alongside the catamaran manufacturer Fountaine-Pajot, of which it is also a shareholder. The choice to develop a nautical activity ranging from the production of boats to online services linked to use, via sales, on which Dream Yacht is growing, is a major trend, as we also see within the Bénéteau group.