What is MoorageMarket?
MoorageMarket is the only boater-to-boater and marina-to-boater marketplace where boaters can rent private boat docks, dry storage, mooring buoys, and marina slips directly from owners.
And MoorageMarket is a platform for marinas to manage slip availability and to accept online reservations on their existing websites via our widget. We make it easier and safer for boaters to rent moorage and more secure for owners to manage rentals.
What’s your traction been like thus far?
After launching Fall 2013, we have over 300 registered users and over 100 active listings. We are post-revenue with a number of transactions, some of which are scheduled to recur through 2015.
There are over one dozen marinas using various parts of our platform. We have just confirmed the first marina to completely adopt all parts of the platform and migrate all their existing customers. This will boost our revenue significantly and make us profitable.
What about your business most excites you?
That we’re making it easier for boaters to find and rent a dock. Boaters that hear about MoorageMarket love the concept, and those that have used it think it’s just great. Hearing things like this directly from customers is really exciting.
A lot of small marinas are one or two person operations. We get really excited when we make life easier for them by automating their processes and increasing their rentals.
What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you started?
Managed hosting. Rather that setting up and maintaining a VPS, we should have gone with a PaaS. The last thing anybody wants to deal with is figuring out why Apache won’t start.
What’s a hypothesis that you’ve had that has failed? And how did you respond?
We originally thought that private dock owners would be willing to pay a small transaction fee because of all the tools we offer, including payment processing. However, we found out that about 30% of private dock owners were completely uninterested in paying anything, even 3% to cover the cost of credit card processing.
So we changed the pricing model. Instead of splitting the marketplace fee between dock owner and renter, we shifted the fee entirely to the renter when renting from a private dock owner.
We also shifted the marketplace fee entirely onto marinas for business users. When a renter rents a dock from a marina, the renter pays no marketplace fee. This removes any incentive for renters to bypass the marketplace by going directly to the marina.
What’s your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
Getting excited over tiny little things. Whether a new user, new listing, or new transaction, we are bouncing off the walls.