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Vyra: holidays at sea, made simple

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Childhood friends Sofia and Christina are on a mission to provide travellers with their dream holidays at sea, free of complications and unnecessary difficulties. “We’re both sailors at heart with a strong passion for the sea. But we know that finding the right boat for your vacation is always a hassle. There is very little information online, no way to check out the boat or see reviews” Sofia explains.

Sofia and Christina, both from Athens, had a background in finance and marketing respectively, and previous experience of running a company. “We realized there was a gap in the market, and we had both the entrepreneurial spirit and the love of the sea”, Sofia says. Taking the leap into a new career, they were able to bring the two together.

Founded in 2015, Vyra is a user-friendly online boat rental platform that promises to do all the groundwork and connect all the dots, making hiring procedures easy, quick and affordable, with a focus on customer service. “We’re the booking.com for sailing” she adds, “but we also offer concierge-level customer services. We will intervene to make sure our clients get the unforgettable Mediterranean experience they are after. Our goal is to become a trusted personal holiday consultant, providing personalized recommendations that respond to the needs of each traveller.”

In order to finance the business, in 2016 they turned to PJ Tech Catalyst, a fund backed by EIF. “PJ was the best match for us and we had excellent communication.” Sofia says. The financing allowed Vyra to expand into new countries, and open up new services like daily cruises and fishing trips. It also gave Sofia and Christina the necessary resources to recruit four new employees, as well as fund their marketing campaign and website development. “It really allowed us to set sail.”

Currently offering a fleet of 9,500 vessel options across six Mediterranean destinations, Vyra plans to launch a new round of expansion with the ambition of becoming the top brand for holiday-makers in Greece, the top sailing destination in the Mediterranean.”

Company: Vyra (Greece)

Type of business: tourism

EIF financing: JEREMIE

Financial intermediary: PJ Tech Catalyst

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Greece, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/el

 

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