As the saying goes, “What’s better than owning a boat? Having a friend who owns a boat.”
That’s the idea behind GetMyBoat, a rental application that makes sure everyone has a friend with a boat. GetMyBoat connects boat owners who are open to renting—or serving as a captain on their boat—with people looking for experiences on the water. With more than 130,000 listings worldwide, the app is free to download and features listings anywhere from fishing charters for $22 an hour in Virginia, sailing in Chicago for $150 an hour, yacht rentals in Miami for $350 an hour and guided jet ski tours for $750 a day in California.
With a desktop and mobile application, GetMyBoat allows users to choose experiences in more than 180 countries. After sending a reservation request with event details and a credit card payment, GetMyBoat passes that information to each specific boat owner, along with a payout using Dwolla’s ACH payment API.
“The concept of making better use of under-utilized assets made all the sense in the world,” says Bryan Petro, GetMyBoat COO. “What we’ve done is facilitate the process of finding a boat in a way that makes it easy for people to get out on the water.”
To ensure the reservation process is seamless on the front end, Petro says GetMyBoat accepts credit cards because it seemed to be the “path of least resistance” for many of their users. To payout its U.S. boat owners, GetMyBoat uses the ACH Network via a connection through Dwolla’s ACH payment API.
“Our business transactions have seen tremendous growth monthly and quarterly, and I want to say that the ease of making payments remains the same with Dwolla, which is what we like to see,” Petro says. “It takes the same amount of effort to make a payment to one person or 1,000 people.”
“For payouts in the United States, Dwolla really made sense. Especially as we were looking for a partner that could scale with us. And looking at the technology side, we were really impressed with not only the documentation but the ease of integration.”
The Maiden Voyage
Before GetMyBoat had garnered more than 100,000 app downloads and listings in 184 countries, Petro met with co-founders Sascha Mornell and Raf Collado and publicly launched the initial GetMyBoat website in January of 2013.
Early on, Petro says it was important to keep GetMyBoat as a free rental marketplace platform to build a stronger trust among new users.
“We really focused on the product and building the best product, in addition to getting a large supply of inventory,” Petro says. “Knowing that nobody in the rental marketplace had done this before, we worked with the captains to keep them open to the idea of our platform—all without taking a cut of their revenue. Then in 2016, we implemented our payment structure.”
Petro explained that their process of evaluation started with considering building their own payment integration or working directly with a bank. Knowing they wanted to build a global company, Petro says they needed payment solutions that were fast to implement and seamless to operate.
After deciding to have vendors for both U.S. and international payments, the leaders at GetMyBoat asked themselves the following questions:
- Does the payment solution handle our needs today and in the future?
- What does it cost?
- How sound is the technology?
- What is the speed to implement and how much heavy lifting will be needed on our end?
Knowing that inefficient payments were the biggest blocker to the type of growth GetMyBoat was hoping for, the rental marketplace found Dwolla for payments at the perfect time. It was clear that Dwolla was seaworthy and GetMyBoat integrated with the API in 2016 and has since grown its listings by 200%.
“For payouts in the United States, Dwolla really made sense,” Petro says. “Especially as we were looking for a partner that could scale with us. Looking back at the technology side, we were really impressed with not only the documentation Dwolla had provided but the ease of integration as a whole.”
GetMyBoat was founded to make it easy for boat renters to get on the water. GetMyBoat helps people avoid the cost and maintenance of owning a boat while eliminating the hassle and attached strings of renting from a marina or other source.
Both Petro and Nick Hill, Finance & Accounting Manager at GetMyBoat, say ease of use has been a hallmark of the company’s relationship with Dwolla as well.
“I look back and think about what’s been best about our relationship with Dwolla and it’s that we haven’t really had to work with your team,” Petro says laughing. “And I mean that in a positive way. Paying out the boat owners, it should be so simple that you don’t need to think about it. It is that seamless with Dwolla.”
On a transaction-per-transaction basis, Petro says not having to build or maintain their own payment software continues to save them precious engineering and development hours.
“Knowing the implementation with Dwolla is very light, just that part alone, is worth the long-term investment,” Petro says.
“The less we reach out, the better job Dwolla is doing,” Hill says. “I’ve been in banking for nearly a decade and a big problem traditionally is dealing with your payment provider. Freeing up my time with the Dwolla solution has been tremendously helpful in getting work done and getting it done quickly.”
Petro says there’s something “awesome” coming in 2019 as GetMyBoat continues to ride the wave of an emerging marketplace.
With so much positive momentum, GetMyBoat knows it can count on Dwolla to keep the sailing smooth.