Airbnb combined private supply and demand for accommodation, and Uber did the same for car rides. The Finnish company Bout, founded in 2018, is now doing the same for boating. Through Bout’s service, you can order a boat ride from Helsinki to Porvoo, for example – and soon you can also order a ride along the Seine!
How did everything start and what role did we play in Bout’s growth story? Chief Operating Officer of Bout, Teemu Terttunen answered these questions for us.
1. Could you describe your service?
“Bout is a digital marketplace for boat rides and marine experiences. We bring the range of local services available under the same roof to make boat rides and other marine experiences easier to find. The service can be used through a mobile app and on our website.”
2. What kind of cooperation have you engaged in with Forum Virium Helsinki?
“Our cooperation began soon after our company was founded, in 2018. We took part in the Last Mile project that sought smart mobility solutions for the residents and tourists in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The pilot project focused on the Jätkäsaari district, and the goal was to make it easier for people to move about and improve the accessibility of the area by water. The project provided us with the perfect pilot environment for our newly founded company, and we received valuable feedback and ideas for development from residents.”
The boating industry is currently undergoing a major transition. With Forum Virium Helsinki we actively collaborate towards the electrification of boating.Teemu Terttunen, COO of Bout
3. How did the cooperation go and what kind of benefits did it provide?
“The cooperation has been seamless from the start. The boating industry is currently undergoing a major transition and we actively interact with Forum Virium Helsinki towards the electrification of boating. We hope that our home town of Helsinki will continue to show the way in the future, not only as an agile pilot platform but also in reducing emissions. We also have some very interesting projects planned for Helsinki in summer 2023, but more about those later.”
4. How are you doing now and what are your future plans?
“Five years ago, it felt like the market wasn’t ready for our service yet. However, the situation has recently changed considerably – for our benefit. We already operate in 15 regions in Finland. On a global scale, water transport has started to earn its position as part of other modes of transport and city planning in general. There is a demand for our service around the world, for example in France. Our work is strongly marked by expansion to the international market.”
“The winds of change are blowing in the electrification of boating in particular. We want to position ourselves at the forefront of responsible boating, and we’ve established many new partnerships with operators in the industry. No one can change this old – and in many ways rigid – industry alone: the importance of cooperation is built deep into our company’s DNA. The year 2023 is looking bright – plain sailing!”