On-demand travel startup Sn-ap raises £2m to ‘revolutionize coach travel’

Connecting users with coach operators, the London-based start-up - which already operates in the East Midlands - will use the funding to fuel growth

Sn-ap, an on-demand intercity coach travel service, has raised £2m in equity funding, in a round led by early stage VC fund Kindred Capital – which also included a number of private investors.

Billing itself as “on-demand digital coach travel”, Sn-ap uses a crowdsourced online booking system to connect travelers making similar trips with local coach operators.

Aiming to offer an “anywhere to anywhere, anytime” service, all suggested trips are direct, without detours or drop-offs on the way and operate on an on-demand basis (trips only run when there is enough demand, keeping prices low).

Founded in April 2016 by former Chiltern Railways commercial director Thomas Ableman, the London-based start-up has already raised an initial £1m in seed funding from angel investors specialising in the transport, technology, media and finance arenas.

Currently operating on routes between the East Midlands and London, carrying 25,000 passengers to date, the start-up will use the latest injection of capital to fuel growth and expand its services across the UK.

Ableman said:

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.”

Leila Zegna of Kindred Capital, said:

“The contrast between transportation offerings within cities vs. between cities is stark – intracity transport has been revolutionized in recent years by entrants like bike sharing, Zipcar, Uber, Gett Taxi and others, whereas intercity transport has remained relatively untouched by digital disruption.

“Therein lies Sn-ap’s opportunity to enable the millions of people making journeys between cities to access today’s underutilized 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”.