East Midlands based travel tech start-up, Sn-ap, as raised £2 million in equity funding led by early-stage VC fund Kindred Capital. The investment, which is supported by a number of private investors from the travel and finance sectors, will be used to expand its current service into new parts of the UK.
Sn-ap is an on-demand intercity coach travel service that uses a crowdsourced online booking system. It connects people making similar trips and matches them with the highest quality local coach operators. The concept is anywhere to anywhere, anytime. Trips go from point-to-point, without detours or drop-offs, on an on-demand basis, which is how the company can keep prices low.
“Our customers want to see this service linking more UK cities and fast. We have attracted a much broader range of travellers than we were initially expecting – young families, post-family singles and couples all love the concept of high quality, low-cost travel on demand,” co-founder and CEO, Thomas Ableman said. “Using our platform, they get greater convenience and real flexibility at a fraction of the cost of other travel options. At the same time, coach operators with spare capacity get access to popular intercity routes for the very first time. It’s a win-win.”
The former Chiltern Railways commercial director founded Sn-ap last year, and raised an initial £1 million in seed funding from angel investors specialising in the transport, technology, media and finance. The company is currently operating on routes between East Midlands and London, carrying 25,000 passengers to date.
“This round of investment will help us expand to more cities and continue to make intercity travel as easy and affordable as possible for all. Kindred Capital is a perfect partner for us, with its extensive experience in both the travel technology sector and in backing early-stage technology companies with the potential to scale at pace,” added Ableman. “Kindred’s investment and strategic advice, combined with our expertise, vision and technology, will enable Sn-ap to meet the demands of our fast-growing traveller base.”
For Kindred Capital’s Leila Zegna, Sn-ap’s biggest strength is its recognising and plugging a gap in the market. “The contrast between transportation offerings within cities versus between cities is stark – intracity transport has been revolutionised in recent years by entrants like bike-sharing, Zipcar, Uber, Gett Taxi and others, whereas intercity transport has remained relatively untouched by digital disruption,” she said. “Therein lies Sn-ap’s opportunity to enable the millions of people making journeys between cities to access today’s under-utilised private hire coaches. We are thrilled to lead be part of this round in Sn-ap, whose unique leadership team brings a depth of domain expertise and proven execution capability to this exciting market opportunity”.