Seatfrog, has raised €6.7 million (£6 million) for its rail ticketing app that aims to make rail travel more passenger and pocket-friendly. The London-based startup now plans to fuel its growth plans.
Rail travel is a daily reality for millions of Europeans. Whether it’s travelling for business or pleasure, trains have been the mobility option of choice for generations. It’s also now being actively promoted as a more sustainable way to travel (as opposed to cars and planes, for example). However, when it comes to ticketing, the sector has been fairly stagnant.
Seatfrog, a startup based in London aims to change that. The company has developed an app that enables passengers to buy tickets, get upgrades, save money and alter their travel plans. The team has just secured €6.7 million to expand.
Co-founder and CEO of Seatfrog, Iain Griffin: “Our mission is to be the platform of choice for rail, helping people fall in love with taking the train again, and enabling operators to run more profitable networks full of happier, less stressed passengers – it’s long overdue.”
The funding was backed by Pembroke, Praetura and Octopus Ventures, and advised by finnCap’s Private Growth Capital team.
Iain Griffin: “Today’s investment marks the latest milestone on our journey but it’s by no means our final destination. With the launch of our Train Swap feature across the UK and our expansion into new European markets, we are unleashing a new platform that helps passengers get an unrivalled experience and operators run more efficient networks well beyond the capabilities of legacy technology.”
Launched in 2018, Seatfrog aims to reinvent the experience of catching a train. It’s reported that over 570 million first-class seats travel empty each year. With Seatfrog, these seats can be filled, in a way that saves money for passengers, increases profits for providers and ensures empty trains are a thing of the past – making it a more sustainable travel option.
The London-based firm reports that it has saved customers more than £43 million across 3,400+ destinations. It also claims to increase revenue for operations by over 300%.
To date, Seatfrog has secured exclusive partnerships with sixteen major train operators covering over 3 billion journeys across the UK and Europe, with Italian operator Trenitalia the latest to put its faith in Seatfrog to deliver a better journey for its 500 million passengers.
Fred Ursell, Investment Director, Pembroke Investment Managers LLP: “Over half of UK rail passengers are unhappy with value for money, largely due to the European rail sector being starved of innovation. When we met Iain and Dirk, their vision and passion to transform the customer experience for travellers whilst providing a ‘win-win’ business model for Train Operators became immediately clear. The disruptive business model, product market fit and large market combined with a world-class team, meant Seatfrog had all the hallmarks of a Pembroke deal. We are delighted to be supporting Seatfrog as it expands its product range, deepens relationships with customers and grows its geographical presence.”
In 2022, the company reported over 800% revenue growth. This new investment will help the company keep growing. It’ll fuel a new recruitment drive and be used to develop the next wave of the platform.
David Foreman, Managing Partner of Praetura Ventures: “Many of our team used Seatfrog long before we spoke to them about this investment. As fans ourselves, we can see that the Seatfrog proposition is clearly loved by its users as shown by their thousands of industry-leading reviews. They’ve got a fantastic team with a great product and global potential. We’re incredibly excited to be backing Iain and Dirk in their next stage of growth with our ‘more than money’ support.”