Growing through the pandemic: SEARADAR raises 200k EUR in funds before entering 2021
The previous year didn’t promise any stability for the travel industry businesses. Difficulties caused by the pandemic made many startups go on the “standby” mode, but not SEARADAR! Even facing multiple challenges, the SEARADAR team managed to reach triple year growth and raise 200k EUR in funds before entering 2021. That’s the real unicorn spirit!
The Tallinn-based startup is an online platform for booking boats for charter captains from CIS and EU. SEARADAR is also a Baltic Sandbox portfolio company — a sustainable acceleration partner for the Eastern European startups.
Read the full article of the SEARADAR’s growth journey, changed value proposition, and near-future plans to raise the remaining 250k EUR in funds.
Founding 2 startups before the SEARADAR: Dima’s story
In 2010, Dima Beznasiuk, the founder & managing partner of SEARADAR, launched his first startup Emprana that offered a gift-experience service. Emprana became N1 at Russian’s gift-experience market with $3M GMV. Articles about the startup’s success appeared in globally famous media such as Forbes. How is this connected to the SEARADAR? Even in 2013, Dima sold the shares of Emprana. Through the 3 years, he tried 80% of all Emrana experiences — karting, diving, sky-jumping, and indeed — sailing. Then, the idea to change the yachting industry conveniently sparked for the first time.
Before the SEARADAR, Dima founded one more startup, Turbodealer — a SaaS platform for dealerships. Even the startup wasn’t less successful than Emprana, Dima is now in progress with exit. The hell of a ride experience of founding two startups and a unique feeling to the sea and yachts led to launching SEARADAR in 2017.
“Now, we have been raising investment for two years. In 2019, we reached triple growth compared to 2018. At the beginning of 2020, we planned to close the round. Still, the pandemic slowed down our plans a bit,” — says Max Terbov, the founder & managing partner of SEARADAR.
Learn more about the SEARADAR’s story: http://bit.ly/3ml3MSO
Facing the crisis in a professional way
Last year, many travel-related startups stopped their businesses, and others went into “standby” mode. We also faced our own challenges. Usually, the trips are prepared 3–6 months before going to sea, and customers pay in advance for a yacht charter. Since the widespread lockdown, charter companies began to block the advances made to them. Of course, no one made a refund.
As industry brokers, we are always on the client-side. Using our established partnerships with major charter companies, we managed to move all current charters to new dates. Now, it sounds like a crazy nightmare, but it only made the SEARADAR team stronger than ever.
This crisis made the SEARADAR’s team change their value proposition, as well. Even there are many aggregator platforms for booking yachts. Still, the SEARADAR sees the value in an individual crafting approach to each client. SEARADAR has become a full cycle yacht booking concierge service for professional captains.
Dima says that “despite the pandemic, we didn’t stop working on SEARADAR. We found locations that allow us to sell charters as before. And guess what? In September 2020, we made a triple growth compared to September 2019. We also had a plan to raise 450k EUR in the upcoming year.”
Raised 200k EUR & aspirations for the future growth
Despite the challenging year, SEARADAR continued to grow. Just before entering 2021, SEARADAR attracted the first part of the investment of EUR from two business angels from Estonia and the UK. According to the terms of the round, they have up to 6 months to raise the remaining 250k EUR, meaning they are open to offers from VCs and private investors. This year, the SEARADAR team expects multiple growths and the opening of more locations for sailing worldwide.
One of the nearest ambitious plans of the SEARADAR — to enter the markets of Germany, Sweden, Poland, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, and Romania. “Our main goal — become the number 1 company around the globe that helps captains organize yacht charters quickly and easily,” — comments Max Terbov. Now, the SEARADAR team is preparing to launch a new subscription model, which we will get to know this year.
You can enter travel at a significant discount and ride the rocket in 2021, but now — Welcome aboard!