Dockwa and DockHop have both been on our radar for a while now. Each startup has showed potential for becoming the OpenTable for the marine industry, helping boaters to find and book available slips and moorings right from their smartphones. But with two different apps trying to accomplish the same thing in New England, it would have been hard for either to have a significant footprint. Which is why the two companies have joined forces, merging into one startup that will retain the Dockwa name and integrate the DockHop technology. DockHop founder Tyler Kneisel will be the only team member from his company to join Dockwa—an addition that Dockwa founder Matt Fradette says will offer a “much-needed boost to operational efficiencies.”
“We love the name DockHop, but decided it will be rolled into Dockwa’s brand instead of remaining a stand alone product,” explained Fradette in an email to BostInno. “The more ingrained we become with our marinas, the more we learn about additional pain points that our technology can solve for.”
According to Fradette, the decision was strongly influenced by the feedback from many of the company’s marina customers, many of which have been working with both DockHop and Dockwa over the past few months. Fradette noted that the main reason for the merger was to have a single, unified brand.
“We looked at the opportunity to join forces rather than compete head to head in our first year of operation,” said Fradette. “With DockHop, we get a wonderful addition to our team, a robust platform that expedites our product development, and an extended network of marinas that increases our national footprint overnight. This puts Dockwa in a very strong market position and is a great addition to our team and platform.”
Fradette added that the main focus this summer will be to collect feedback from both marinas and boaters so that Dockwa can continue to optimize its platform for maximum value.
Dockwa officially launched its boating app just last month in Nantucket at the Figawi 2015 Race Weekend. Additionally, the company announced late May that it had closed a $1.1 million seed funding round from HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan and CMO Mike Volpe, David Skok of Matrix Partners, and Driftt cofounder Elias Torres, along with several other private investors. That round brought the total financing Dockwa has raised to $1.4 million, and is being used to help the Newport-based startup to expand into new markets—most likely the Carolinas and Florida—while growing out the team. Currently, Dockwa has nine employees, and now has a full sales team and engineering team. The company plans to make additional hires as it expands to other parts of the U.S.
Aerial view photo of Boston harbor via Shutterstock.