SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 27, 2000 -- Boats.com today announced $6 million in first-round financing led by Mayfield Fund with additional backing from Trident Capital. This financial support has enabled boats.com to build an unparalleled management team and board of directors with deep marine and Internet expertise, focused on creating a web-based nautical marketplace.
According to 1998 data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the U.S. marine market is enormous, with more than 75 million active boaters who spend more than $20 billion annually. Although 60-plus percent of these enthusiasts have computers with Internet access, the boating industry is fragmented with more than 18,000 brokers, dealers, and service businesses that have not yet leveraged the Internet as a channel for distribution or communication.
"While there is a plethora of boating customers and suppliers, there is no central location for content, commerce and community," said Rolando Esteverena, CEO of boats.com. "Boats.com will utilize the Web as an enabler to unify the marine industry. Through our initial round of funding and the establishment of our management team, we are able to lay the groundwork to develop this lucrative opportunity."
The boats.com management team is comprised of world-renowned boaters with proven track records building strong, profitable technology businesses," said A.Grant Heidrich, general partner at Mayfield Fund. "Their industry-specific expertise, enterprising strategy and powerful vision were compelling reasons to invest in this promising venture."
CEO Rolando Esteverena is a 30-year veteran of Silicon Valley, long-time boating enthusiast and experienced entrepreneur who has launched and led six high technology companies, two of those through successful IPOs.
Vice Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer Stuart Johnstone is both a pioneer in the sailing industry and a successful technology entrepreneur, having co-founded the premier sailing brand J/Boats and launched Internet video company Vosaic.
Chief Operating Officer and President Paul Rabe brings many years of experience in the sport and power fishing industries, serving as vice president of Cummins Marine and most recently as executive vice president at Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC).
Boats.com Chairman of the Board Tom Hutton is an accomplished CEO of Risk Management Inc. and former McKinsey consultant.
The accomplished boats.com management team also includes:
"Boats.com presented us with a compelling business model for a virtually untapped market," said John H. Moragne, co-founder and managing director, Trident Capital. "We see strong potential in their strategy and are confident this ambitious management team will execute upon their solid vision."
Boats.com is building the premier e-commerce hub for the marine community. The company will unite boaters, marinas, boatyards, brokers, dealers, service businesses, distributors and manufacturers in a mutual exchange to improve the boating and marine experience. Founded in 1999, boats.com is a private company funded by Mayfield Fund and Trident Capital. Headquarters are located at Pier 38, The Embarcadero in San Francisco.