Rail ticketing app Seatfrog has secured £6m in a growth funding round to accelerate its expansion in Europe.
The UK-headquartered business lets passengers book train tickets, switch trains, and bid for an upgrade to first class through its app.
Seatfrog, which has over one million customers, achieved over 800% revenue growth in 2022.
Launched in 2018 to initially combat the 570+ million first-class seats that go unsold each year, the company has secured a £6m funding round to deliver the next stage of its expansion plan after 12 months of record growth.
Backed by leading investors Pembroke, Praetura, and Octopus Ventures, and advised by finnCap’s Private Growth Capital team, Seatfrog says the latest funding round will allow it to embark on a recruitment drive to meet the demands of operators across Europe, as it bids to become the pan-European app for rail.
According to Seatfrog, the app has already saved consumers over £43m across more than 3,400 destinations, helping train operators run more profitable networks and increasing new revenue by over 300%.
To date, it has secured exclusive partnerships with sixteen major train operators covering over 3 billion journeys across the UK and Europe, with Italian operator Trenitalia the latest to partner with the company.
“Today’s investment marks the latest milestone on our journey but it’s by no means our final destination,” said co-founder and CEO of Seatfrog, Iain Griffin.
“With the launch of our Train Swap feature across the UK and our expansion into new European markets, we are unleashing a new platform that helps passengers get an unrivalled experience and operators run more efficient networks well beyond the capabilities of legacy technology.”
Seatfrog says that more than 70% of its new customers come from word of mouth, leading to a 40%+ monthly revenue growth rate.
“Over half of UK rail passengers are unhappy with value for money, largely due to the European rail sector being starved of innovation. When we met Iain and Dirk, their vision and passion to transform the customer experience for travellers whilst providing a ‘win-win’ business model for train operators became immediately clear,” said Fred Ursell, investment director at Pembroke Investment Managers
“The disruptive business model, product market fit and large market combined with a world-class team, meant Seatfrog had all the hallmarks of a Pembroke deal. We are delighted to be supporting Seatfrog as it expands its product range, deepens relationships with customers and grows its geographical presence.”
Rail ticketing in the UK has come under recent fire, with 3rd party retailers calling on the UK Government to “level the playing field“, and the Railway Industry Association advocating for modernisation in its recent digitalisation report.