Start-up Sn-ap Travel Technology aims to shake-up intercity coach travel after attracting £3.4 million in fresh funding.
The company allows users to travel ‘on demand’ – matching travellers who want to make similar journeys with the UK’s premium coach operators.
Sn-ap uses machine learning to predict the dates, times and routes that people wish to travel, and to set the optimal price.
Customer star ratings are used to select the best coaches and drivers from independent coach operators.
The latest investment round sees lead investors ADV and Oxford Capital join existing investors Kindred Capital as well as industry angels who cumulatively have funded Sn-ap’s expansion with £6 million in just 20 months.
Sn-ap will use the new funds to expand the service, already live in Bristol, Cardiff and Nottingham, to a further four cities in the next five months.
More than 100,000 people are projected to be on-demand intercity coach travellers by the summer.
Company founder Thomas Ableman said: “Intercity travellers have had to put up with poor service, high fares and the constraints of fixed routes and timetables for too long. We are bringing the power of technology to give them the quality and service they deserve.”
Mark Anderson, operator of Andersons Travel, added: “The coaches we provide to Sn-ap are normally used by elite sports teams and executive groups.
“They are literally the best way to travel imaginable but often go unused, especially during the working week.
“With Sn-ap, we can give premier-league travel experiences to everyone. Sn-ap’s star ratings system keeps us on our toes and makes sure only the very best coach operators get to take part.”
ADV chief information officer Mike Dimelow said: “Intercity travel is being re-imagined. Think of ride hailing a luxury coach across the country with door-to-door service and no time spent in a cold bus depot.
“Sn-ap Travel’s founders possess deep industry knowledge and have built a platform, which can transform long haul journeys for both consumers and coach operators on a global scale. We’re excited to get on board and support their growth with a patient venture approach.”
Tom Bradley, of Oxford Capital, added: “For years, governments have talked about integrated transport as the future of mobility. And through it all, failed to give customers a truly great travel experience.
“By working with small, independent operators but with a high quality tech overlay, Sn-ap can give people the very best.
“You might call it ‘disintegrated transport’ – as it uses lots of small firms but in a consistent and integrated way that is better for customers and for our transport network as a whole.”