The acquisition of Hamburg-based Scansail marks the beginning of an ambitious expansion plan

French boat-sharing company Click&Boat has acquired Scansail, one of its main competitors in German-speaking markets. Scansail will continue to operate as a separate brand, based at its current headquarters in Hamburg.

Click&Boat is a boat hire platform that was launched in 2013 by two French entrepreneurs – Edouard Gorioux and Jérémy Bismuth. The company has a fleet of over 35,000 boats in more than 50 countries, and has reached the milestone of 200,000 bookings annually.

Scansail is a dominant player in the boat rental industry across several German-speaking markets, including Germany, Austria and parts of Switzerland. Operating since 1983, the company has built a strong reputation on the back of its expertise in sailboat and catamaran charters, serving a loyal customer base of around 100,000 of registered users with a penchant for seafaring. Currently, the company has 9,320 boats available for rental in more than 875 locations in 48 countries.

Gorioux says that Germany is the company’s third-largest market and is growing at breakneck speed. “Just last year we saw a staggering growth of 100% in bookings, so we decided to launch our expansion strategy abroad from this country,” he says.

“We have observed that many German customers tend to stay loyal to the same company once they are happy with the service provided, so we decided to acquire a firm that is renowned for its customer-oriented mentality and strong brand name, such as Scansail.”

As Click&Boat’s first international acquisition, the Scansail deal marks the launch of an ambitious expansion plan, coming on the back of a €4m funding round completed in 2018. Further expansion is expected in other fast-growing markets, including the UK, the US, Italy and Spain.

“This acquisition is in line with our global growth strategy,” Gorioux adds. ”With the integration of Scansail’s team and its long experience in the German market, Click&Boat continues to accelerate its expansion and assert its leading position globally.”

More acquisitions may follow, he adds. “We are always on the lookout for more companies to acquire in other countries, aiming to select the best teams and services available out there.”