U-Boat Investment SA Luxembourg, a holding company specialising in yachting products and services, has acquired an additional €1.4m of investment capital to fund the global launch of its new yacht charter platform, YOTHA. The total amount raised so far is €3.8m.

More than 60% of the investment capital was sourced from new strategic partners who have a wealth of relevant experience, including renowned French sailor Marc Pajot, Marcello Maggi, founder of Marcello Maggi Yachting Boutique (Monaco), and Shari Liu, luxury director, media anchor and editor of superyachts.com (Miami), with Marc Boghossian, founder and CEO of high-end jewellery company Bomare (Geneva) as co-chairman and business development.

U-Boat Investment owns the intellectual property and the brand, YOTHA, which operates the future yotha.com platform. Established in Monaco, YOTHA brings digitalisation to the luxury charter industry, thanks to its global interactive online and mobile services for owners, charterers, captains and yacht charter professionals including brokers and central agents.

“YOTHA opens the way for the digital transformation of the luxury yachting industry,” says YOTHA owner Philippe Bacou. “Our ambition is that our innovative new solution for chartering will improve the customer experience, offer new services and help attract new customers to luxury yachting. As a digital-first, tech start-up, we are keen to explore fresh ways of expanding the charter business and want to form partnerships with investors, brokers and other key industry players. At YOTHA, we hope to increase the size of the market both in charter volume and services through in-depth industry co-operation.”

YOTHA’s worldwide launch and marketing campaign is set to start this month. The company also plans to open a Middle East office in Dubai in March, and one in Florida in April.

In addition to the capital increase, YOTHA is launching a performance stock option plan for employees and business partners committed to long-term partnerships, with options for B-type shares. U-Boat is also considering extending the stock option plan to yacht owners in future.