AllOY is a startup bringing autonomous & EV technology to the $57B recreational boating market. We are on a mission to make boats smarter and safer.
Autonomous and EV technologies are creating massive disruption in the automotive industry--and are poised to do the same in recreational boating. We bring to this sector a leadership team with decades of startup experience in innovation (across 12 startups, broadcast.com, yahoo, etc.), mobility (Toyota), and boat building (MasterCraft, Invincible).
We are winding up our pre-seed round and expect to start an equity round in the fall.
Use of funds from the pre-seed and seed rounds will allow the company to begin construction of the first prototype and continue the progress towards the smartest and safest recreational boat on the water.
Early in the COVID pandemic, I was sitting on the back of a boat with my significant other having a glass of wine. We were talking about Tesla, Waymo, Cruise, and the changes that were ahead as vehicle autonomy began to take shape in the US and abroad. It was clear then (and now) that both electric vehicle (EV) technology and self-driving (autonomous) technology would have a sweeping impact on the automotive industry.
But what about boating? Was it too different? Too small? After a bit of industry research, it was clear the answer was no.
I (Brandon Cotter), have been a technology entrepreneur for the last 25 years, and have been fortunate to have experienced a number of successful exits in that time. For the last few years, I’ve been building relationships in and around the recreational boating industry and pulling together a rockstar team to bring our vision to market.
I’ve also been a boater, wake surfer, wakeboarder, and skier for most of my life—but most often, I’m the boat driver for my kids and their friends. So being on the water, and helping others to enjoy time on the water has been a passion of mine for most of my life.
In the fall of 2020, early in the pandemic, I connected with my (soon-to-be) co-founder Dr. Powell Kinney. Powell had direct experience with the biggest technical challenge we were about to face (ADAS, self-driving, autonomous mobility) and so I was very interested in the meeting. Shortly after connecting, he and I recognized that we had a shared passion for big technical challenges—but more importantly a desire to pursue meaningful work—and build a valuable company.
We assembled our fundraising materials and began to meet with investors in the Summer of 2021—while simultaneously starting to build out the first version of the AllOY operating system.
Boating is relaxing and brings people together—but, a technology & safety gap exists. And the safety advances of the last 20 years in the automotive industry are absent in even the best recreational boats. For example, the car you drive today probably has a back-up camera, 360° sensors, lane assist, and most importantly, brakes! Even in a modern $300k+ recreational boat, these features don’t exist. This gap between what we experience in a modern automobile and what is present on recreational boats causes accidents, creates fear, and limits the size of the market.
Four barriers to entry artificially restrict the recreational boat market:
- Safety - In 2020, 767 people were killed and 3,191 were injured while on a recreational boat. That’s 2x more per-outing than skydiving.
- Hassle - The hassle of boating is often far greater than the hours on the water—prompting timeless quotes like, “The best boat is a friend’s boat”.
- Expertise - Lack of knowledge combined with fear of specific tasks (like docking and undocking) hinders adoption.
- Expense - Current operating costs include $400 per day in fuel plus unplanned maintenance, annual winterizing and de-winterizing, and marina-related expenses.
AllOY is completely reinventing the boating experience. This is not just a traditional boat with an EV motor and a surface-refresh of the user interface. We are starting from scratch and rethinking the way modern software, sensors, and control systems can and should change things for boaters.
- We are building the technology to power ADAS and autonomous driving modes inside recreational boating.
- We are bringing that technology to market inside our own line of boats.
- We will sell those boats directly to consumers (DTC).
- Later, we will consider licensing the technology to other OEM’s.
AllOY is both software (the AllOY.OS) and hardware (systems, sensors, and the boats themselves).
The core of the AllOY experience is our AllOY.OS and the broad sensor suite serving it a continuous flow of real-time data. This supports increasing levels of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) functionality, with increasing abilities to perform fully autonomous missions. The result is a set of invaluable safety features which allow our customers to focus on enjoying their time on the water.
Wrapped around that suite of amazing technology are a line of world-class boats with more than a handful of industry firsts, patent-pending technologies, and minimalist design.
Boaters and aspirational boaters. Typically 40+ yrs old and who reside within an hour of one of the 11,000 marinas in the US. Early adopters. EV owners, or someone who’s had an interest in boating but has felt fear about jumping in.
How big is the market?
$16-18B today of just new boat sales, growing to $22B by 2026. The total recreational boating market was $57B last year (which includes both boat sales and relatde products) and is growing at 6.8% GAGR annually.
Mom and dad. 45-55 yrs old. Live within 60 miles of a lake or river in the United States. Kids in college. Was a guest on other people’s boats when younger, but haven’t had any experience owning or driving boats. Want to buy a boat so that they can enjoy with friends—but also to provide an opportunity to connect with their kids when they are home.
Single woman. 35. Sports enthusiast. Fallen in love with wake surfing. Loves hosting friends on the water. Avid boater for most of her life. Loves driving the boat, but also loves sitting on the back and chilling out with a glass of wine and letting the boat take care of itself.
There are 11,000 marinas on lakes, rivers, and coastal locations around the United States. Over the next 10 years, we will build and operate 30 AllOY Customer Experience Centers at the best 30 of those lakes—focusing on the intersection between highest boat sales and highest EV sales. At each of thes locations, we will sell 100 boats (80 @ $260k and 20 @ $360k). That’s 700 boats and revenue of $193M in 2026 and 3,000 boats and $828M in 2031.
We are reinventing the modern recreational boat with software at the center. This is not just new paint or a new powertrain—its an overhaul.
Our advantage is the use cases we unlock. Imagine sitting on the back of the boat with friends, enjoying a glass of wine, watching the sunset, while the boat cruises around the lake at 5mph, avoiding other boats along the way. All without having to be constantly at the helm.
Or imagine that the boaters who have had too much to drink (the most common cause of boating accidents) and the driver can hit “take me home” on the screen, and the boat can safely bring the boat and its guests home safely—even docking the boat back in its slip at the marina.
Our advantage is our user experience. AllOY.OS has literally hundreds of new features that aren’t possible on today’s modern recreational boats. We aren’t releasing this feature list yet, but auto-docking and safety features that disable the propellor when we detect someone in the water nearby are just a few of them.
And all this isn’t science fiction, we have been successfully testing on-water on test boats on a lake just outside of Dallas, TX for the last year.
AllOY is focused on solving the important challenges related to close-quarters operation, recreational use, and use cases when real people are operating a boat.
Brandon Cotter, CEO, capital raising + product vision + product leadership + HR
Brandon sold his first company to Broadcast.com in 1997, where his team became Broadcast.com Interactive Group. That team built several SaaS products for the company and became a highly profitable part of the business. In 1998, he left to start Musicforce.com, a music site focused on Christian music, which quickly became the online leader. They sold the company to Gaylord Entertainment a year later. In 1999, he led a small team of engineers who together invented and patented a handful of mobile technologies that just today are showing up in iPhone and Android devices. From 2010 through early 2020, he was engaged as a founder, cofounder, advisor, managing director, and other leadership roles within several tech and advertising firms in Dallas.
Dr Powell Kinney, CTO, capital raising + technical leadership + software and hardware engineering
Powell Kinney began his career as a software developer in geospatial systems and autonomous vehicles. After a hiatus to earn his MD and complete a surgery internship, he has spent the last several years architecting and building various web-scale platforms in the IoT space. Prior to joining Toyota Connected, he was the CTO of Vinli, a connected car startup in Dallas, and served as an editor on the W3C Automotive Working Group. The Mobility Services Platform team, which Powell leads at Toyota Connected, is tasked with building the global platform for Toyota's mobility initiatives including car-sharing, ride-sharing, fleet management and more.
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- AllOY raised an initial $1M (of a $2.5M SAFE round) to fund the first year of research and development.
- AllOY recently demonstrated (see video) its obstacle avoidance technology for recreational boating—technology that will save lives.
- AllOY’s team has grown to 9, including 3 seasoned software developers in Dallas, New Orleans, and Brazil.
- CARTA provided a valuation study of AllOY showing an enterprise value of $45-55M.
- AllOY has filed its first provisional patent related to autonomous marine operation