Maritime & Marine

Published: February 22, 2022 | Updated: February 23, 2022

Boating app founder Jelte rides the crest of a wave after raising £1.35m from 832 investors

The savvy navvy app has had more than 43 million miles plotted by its hundreds of thousands of users globally.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Talk about riding the crest of a wave.

Avid sailor Jelte Liebrand, from Poole, still can’t quite believe the response from investors to the latest funding round for his innovative boating navigation app, savvy navvy.

The crowdfunding campaign on the investment platform Seedrs has just closed, raising over £1.35m from 832 investors.

As reported on Dorset Biz News, the initial £750,004 target was exceeded within hours of the funding round opening last month.

Jelte, CEO & Founder of savvy navvy, said: “This latest funding round, surpassing £1.3m with more than 800 new investors, smashes all my wildest expectations.

“It’s always exciting going into a crowdfunding round, as you never quite know what the interest will be.

“This fourth round has been our biggest and best yet.

“Overfunding by 180 per cent for something that was just a dream five years ago is just amazing.”

Often referred to as ‘Google maps for boats’, savvy navvy was founded by Jelte, an ex-Google software engineer, in 2017.

His aim was to simplify boating navigation.

Together with Co-founder Kevin O’Neill, and backed by the founders of Kahoot, the savvy navvy app has had more than 43 million miles plotted by its hundreds of thousands of users globally.

savvy navvy integrates essential marine information into one app, with a modern interface.

It’s made it quick and easy for old and new boaters alike to cross-check their traditional navigation plans, reducing the risk of human error as well as the stress of preparing to get out on the water.

Constantly innovating its technology based on user feedback, savvy navvy’s investment continues to enable technological development of new major app features for its boaters in more than 100 countries around the world.

The latest oversubscribed crowdfunding round on Seedrs is similar to the previous three that have raised £1.8m since 2019.

The rise in the popularity of boating – and the likely future demand from sailors for products such as savvy navvy – is one of the key reasons why investors are keen to get on board.

Only this month figures were released showing how the USA leisure boating market is booming.

They revealed that in 2020 415,000 people bought their first boat with a quarter – 100,000 – first-time new-boat buyers.

That’s 33 per cent more than in 2019.

Overall, the buyers are younger and 1.5 times more likely to be women than other buyer groups.

Jelte, 45, pictured with his son, Max, aged five, said: “Our vision from the outset has been for savvy navvy to be in every boater’s pocket.

“With the boating boom surpassing even our own projections, we can’t wait to use the funds to keep developing the savvy navvy app and enabling even more boaters and water-sports enthusiasts around the world to safely and simply navigate the waters.”

savvy navvy is available on Android, IOS, PC and Mac and can be used on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously.

It is charts, weather, tide, marina details and passage planning with full tidal vectors – all in one place.

Prices range from £34.99 to £64.99 a year.