Global train ticket booker SilverRail raises $40m

Deal will see service extend platform to cover Asian operators

Business-to-business train ticket booker SilverRail has announced the completion of a $40m Series C funding round, in a major new deal set to accelerate its growth into international markets.

Founded in 2009 by Aaron Gowell and Will Phillipson, SilverRail operates a software-based platform (‘SilverCore’) that allows businesses such as travel agents to book train journeys across multiple countries and operators, in much the same way as booking flights.

The Shoreditch-based company, which also has offices in Boston, USA, and Brisbane, has since expanded its service to cover operators across Europe and North America, connected to markets accounting for $60bn in rail transactions annually.

The $40m Series C deal was led by tech-focused investment firm Mithril Capital Management – co-founded by Ajay Rohan and PayPal’s Peter Thiel – with input from existing investors Canaan Partners, Sutter Hill Ventures and Brook Ventures.

It will be used to expand the service into Asia for the first time, as part of a wider plan to eventually add every rail carrier in the world to its platform.

The investment will also be used to develop its planning and booking technology – adding new seating management, reporting and analytics to the SilverRail service.

Ajay Royan, co-founder and managing general partner at Mithril, will join the SilverRail board as part of the deal. Royan said: “There are two critical global networks that have never worked well together: web and rail.

“Currently, a lot of time, energy, and data is being wasted. By upgrading the interactions among users, operators, and travel agents, SilverRail is making train travel much easier than air.”

Aaron Gowell, co-founder and CEO of SilverRail, added: “Mithril, which focuses on businesses that use technology to solve intractable problems, often in traditional sectors long overdue for innovation, is a perfect fit for SilverRail.

“This additional funding will allow us to continue to develop market leading solutions for both rail carriers and travel sellers around the world.”

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