Matt Fox launched Snaptrip back in 2014 as a way of offering last minute cottage holiday deals to holidaymakers looking to escape to the country. Today, it’s one of the fastest-growing holiday firms on the market…
Prior to launching Snaptrip, Matt Fox was head of marketing and operations at pureholidayhomes before the company was sold to the @Leisure-Group for an undisclosed sum back in 2011.
It was during his time working at pureholidayhomes that he dreamed up the idea and noticed a gap in the market. So when the company was sold off, he decided to give it a go.
“Snaptrip is an online marketplace where people can discover the best last minute cottage holiday deals in the UK,” said Matt.
“Our aim is to make finding the right cottage at the best price easy. We already offer the largest range of bookable cottages in the UK, as well as exclusive low pricing.
“The idea came about because the holiday rental market is very focussed on peak bookings, so off-peak periods tend to remain unsold.
“Snaptrip's focus is helping sell this unsold distressed inventory, by becoming the first last-minute focussed brand.
“This benefits property providers by creating bookings for weeks they might not have otherwise sold, and helps holiday makers find discounted offers on last minute breaks.”
His role at pureholidayhomes meant he was familiar with the industry and he was even more familiar with how the ecommerce had disrupted the sector.
However, he knew launching the business wouldn’t be easy and went about seeking support. Luckily, he fell into the right hands.
A lot has been made of angel investors over recent years, with some successes and some nightmares, so it is understandable why some SMEs have refrained from seeking support.
Matt however, couldn't be happier with how his experience panned out. Having already raised £700,000 in funding, he secured the backing of Bestport Ventures in January last year, which led a £1.5m funding round into the business.
The funding round saw a number of angel investors invest in the company including the likes of former O2 chairman Sir David Arculus, former BlackRock managing director Robin Batchelor, and Robin Skinmore; who sold his search marketing agency Epiphany for £18m.
“The funding the business received has enable us to grow quickly,” said Matt, “but the money we have received has also been backed by knowledgeable investors that have contributed to how the business has grown and developed. It also helped recruit some of the best and keen people in the business to help us achieve our collective goal.”
The funding round was closed in January last year and over the next 12 months the company saw bookings and revenues rise by 300% as it recorded its busiest ever year. Throughout the year Snaptrip also re-designed its website, increased its range of properties, and made a number of key appointments including commercial director Joanna Davis, previously of Trip Advisor, Holiday Lettings and Blue Chip Holidays.
These changes have provided an improved booking experience across all device platforms and have allowed the pet-friendly business, so far, to save 40,000 people (and 3,700 dogs) £800,000 on accommodation costs. Cementing its position as the leading dedicated discount platform for UK holiday rentals, the volume of bookings that enjoyed over a 15% discount also increased dramatically from the previous financial year. Looking forward, Matt is excited to see what the future holds.
Matt said: “It’s been an incredible year for Snaptrip and we are looking forward to continuing this success into 2017. We now have a strong dedicated but relatively lean team, which is great for a start-up that only took its first booking in 2014.
“Throughout 2017 we will continue to spread our message far and wide. Bringing additional funding into the business will allow us to increase our brand awareness and continue to improve our offering.
“We want to help our consumers on all journeys of the holiday booking process, from initial idea, inspiration, research to information on travel and weather.
“We have a lot of properties at unbeatable prices, but there is so much more 'value' we can add for our consumers.”
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