Founded and helmed by two technologically driven experts and serial entrepreneurs – Mike Sager and Elliot Cousins – Ankor recognised that there was a problem – how could they bring yacht charterers and brokers together? They took tried and tested SaaS product and engineering principles to create a specific platform for the yachting industry to solve the problem.
Today, Ankor is driving enhanced digitisation of the yachting industry through its platform, integrating its advanced technological solutions and intuitive design. The company has provided the yacht charter industry with a method to streamline processes, improve communication and simplify transactions through its ‘Trips’ functionality – creating customised yachting itineraries and proposals through a seamless user experience.
Backed by its exceptional international team, the company has been driving a digital shift on a global level. Their fully remote company structure enables the team of developers and sales representatives to operate across five countries, easily covering all global yachting markets.
This global reach has resulted in Ankor demonstrating fast growth, having already been used by 121 yacht brokerages in 17 countries across the US, Mediterranean, Europe, UK and Australia. Within Q2 of this year, the number of active users steadily climbed, reaching an impressive milestone of 112 active users in a single week in June. The creation of new itineraries also witnessed substantial growth during this period, with a record of 117 itineraries created within one week. This surge in active users is indicative of the platform’s effectiveness and appeal. The data showcases the software’s ability to engage and captivate new and existing users.
Ankor has accelerated these growth statistics through the expansion of its team. The company has 18 staff members based in Sydney (Australia), with an additional 13 spanning all corners of the globe, including a 24/6 live chat service to ensure enhanced customer satisfaction. Recent hires include team members within Quality Assurance, additions to the Product Manager team and an Analytics expert to continue the software’s development.
Aside from the team’s overarching passion for technology and problem-solving, the startup’s greatest strength lies in its onboarded team members from industries outside the yachting realm. The infusion of these fresh perspectives has injected a new lease of life into traditional and sometimes archaic industry practices and approaches.
By leveraging their expertise from diverse sectors such as technology, finance, hospitality and travel, the team brings together innovative ideas and unconventional solutions to the table. With a collective expertise that extends beyond yachting, it allows them to approach challenges with a forward-thinking mindset.
From software engineers with an extensive background developing innovative platforms across global e-commerce to long-standing account executives with a flair for optimising the customer experience, the Ankor team brings a fresh perspective that is fundamentally revolutionising the process of organising and managing a yacht charter.
Team retention is essential to Ankor and one of the values they have followed from the outset. Nurturing their team and offering attractive packages has enabled the rapid success and growth of the company.
While equity ownership is commonly practised in the startup world, it remains relatively rare among the community of yachting startups. However, Ankor recognises the importance of aligning incentives to foster loyalty within its team. As a component of their compensation package, each staff member has their own equity share in the company to reward their dedication and to drive customer-centric outcomes. This forward-thinking approach motivates team members to excel in their roles and cultivates a long-term perspective that aligns with the company’s growth objectives
By assembling a global and accomplished team with a philosophy centred around the key principles of customer-centricity, data-driven decision-making, continuous learning, divergent thinking, and collaborative expertise, Ankor has created a winning formula and approach to the yachting world.
“In other parts of the luxury or even run-of-the-mill travel industry, travellers have all the information in the palm of their hands. Major airlines, hotel bookings, online travel agencies, and more have embraced technology to provide seamless solutions for both travellers and service providers. However, the yacht charter broking sector, was, frankly, years behind. As we look toward the future, our plans are focused on continuing to push the boundaries of technology even further and committed to continually improving our platform while introducing new features and apps that will propel the industry forward”. Elliot Cousins, Co-CEO and Founder.