Originally from The Netherlands, Based in Portugal + Spain
Success means…finding a team that shares your vision.
Three adjectives that deserve me are... hard-working, passionate, fun.
You can’t run a business without… an unbeatable team.
In the next 10 years I will be… working on my next start-up project, this time with more social impact.
We, Femke and Bo - two Dutch sisters - and our four-member remote team, bridge local tour operators that provide authentic sea experiences to tourist who look for these unique experiences. We do so by using technology, we give online visibility to the tour operators and allow the tourists to book via an online platform - SeaBookings. We love surfing, diving, sailing and other sea experiences ourselves and we want to make them available for all while on the other hand we help local tour operators growing their business. We started in Portugal, are now conquering the seas of Spain and the world is the limit!
Our business is different than regular activity platforms because we are specialists in sea activities. We offer all kind of activities related to the sea, like surfing, diving, SUP, kayaking and all kinds of boat tours. We're also different because we make sure we only work with the best tour operators to guarantee a high quality experience to our users. What ignited the spark was to give online visibility to small local tour operators that many times don't know much about digital marketing. We want to make their unique activities available to all.
If you're coming to visit Portugal or Spain soon, let us know so we can help you find a unique sea experience or check out the best boat tours and water sports in Portugal and Spain on our website. Visiting another destination but passionate about sea activities, let us know where, it may be our next destination!
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur? Is having your own business something you always wanted to have?
The real entrepreneur behind SeaBookings is Femke, the youngest sister. She always wanted to have her own business. Since a kid she was selling stuff like bracelets and knew she never wanted to end up working in a regular office for a "boss". In her last year of her bachelor in Management, the idea of SeaBookings was born. While working in the marine tourism industry for 5 summer seasons in Lagos, she had already sensed a unique opportunity. She and Bo sold tickets for sea activities from small stands (kiosks) and they were convinced that this could be done in a more effective and optimized fashion by aggregating sea related activities on a booking platform.
How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you?
We came up with the business idea by doing. While selling tickets for sea activities from small stand during the summer holidays, we realized that this could be done online. Using an online platform, we could make the booking process much more easier for the tourist as they can plan their holidays ahead by searching, comparing and booking their boat tours and water sports. And, we could help local tour operators gain visibility online and increase sales.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
We decided to go for bootstrapping, which means we did not have any external investments. This also means we had to cut down our monthly budget to live off. Me and Femke were living of a very low budget per month in the beginning of SeaBookings. Actually we still are as we prefer paying more to our colleagues than to our selves while the budget for salaries is still tight. This is a sacrifice we decided to make. We totally believe it was worth it as now we fully own our company and this year we'll be booming!
What are some pros and cons of having (OR not having) entrepreneurial parents?
Our parents are true entrepreneurs, both of them. In the Netherlands they both had their businesses and decided to move to Portugal to change life. This is a huge inspiration to us. They showed us that you don't need to have a 9 to 5 job and create your own doing something you like, where you like, when you like. The pros are that they fully support us and share valuable insights. We are very thankful to our parents for being such an example!