Coach travel firm snaps up £2m to fund UK growth

Coach travel firm snaps up £2m to fund UK growth

On-demand travel start-up Sn-ap, already operating in the Midlands and London, has raised £2m in funding to fuel its expansion across the UK

The £2m in equity funding was led by early stage venture capital fund Kindred investment and is supported by a number of private investors from the travel and finance sectors.

The on demand intercity coach travel service operates using a unique, crowdsourced online booking system.

Sn-ap connects people making similar trips and matches them with the top quality local coach operators.

In theory, the concept allows travel from anywhere to anywhere else at any time. Trips go directly from point-to-point, with no detours or drop-offs on the way, and operate on an on-demand basis.

This means that trips only run when there is enough demand for them, allowing the company to keep costs low at the expense of a trip not running if it doesn’t attract enough interest.

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

The company is currently operating on routes between East Midlands and London, carrying 25,000 passengers to date.

Thomas Ableman, co-founder and CEO of Sn-ap, 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.”

Lead investor, UK based Kindred Capital, is an early stage VC fund that backs exceptional entrepreneurs at the beginning of their journey. 

The Partners at Kindred have experience in founding, operating, and scaling fast growth technology businesses.

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”.