A Swiss start-up focusing on marine technology sounds surprising at first glance. Co-founder and CEO Christian Fehr makes no secret of the fact that the business idea did cause astonishment here and there at the beginning. But the team has relevant experience and knew exactly which pain they were addressing with their start-up. Before clickahoy, the founders had already launched the first boat sharing company in Switzerland in 2016.
"Today everything is smart and connected to the Internet," explains Christian Fehr, "from houses to cars to coffee machines, boats are among the rare exceptions." As a result, boat owners for example do not know before a trip whether they need fuel or batteries to be charged.
Clickahoy's solution, which includes an app, sophisticated software and a seaborne computer, informs owners about this, but for example also triggers an alarm when the boat leaves the anchoring ground. The business model is based on a one-time sale of the hardware (seaborne-computer) and an annual fee for the use of the software (mobile app).
At the same time, clickahoy’s platform includes service providers. While the use of their services for boat owners was previously cumbersome, the solution of the start-up now makes this much more efficient.
Just two months after the launch, 40 boats are already crossing the waves with the system and on the service provider side, shipyards, boat builders and sharing companies have been won as partners. "This has already allowed us to double the size of the team", explains Christian Fehr. Further partners and customers are in the pipeline. The start-up is currently equipping a whole fleet of new electric boats with its solution.
One reason for the success is that clickahoy worked closely with potential customers and partners during the development of the software. In this way, many functionalities could be tested and, if necessary, improved before the product launch.
After the successful start, Christian Fehr is now looking for investors to finance the growth. The startup is aiming for a financing round of CHF400k. With the funds, the number of boats equipped with the system is to be increased tenfold and the network expanded to 40 partners. At the same time, Fehr intends to continue investing in the software and to expand the team.
Finally, clickahoy wants to tackle expansion abroad. The Swiss market for marine-tech is after all limited, says the CEO. "We have to go abroad quite quickly."
Picture: A team member tests the clickahoy solution.