Zeelo, a London-based startup which is using AI to predict surges in users’ demand for coach travel, has closed a $450,000 pre-Seed from investors including Jaguar Land Rover’s mobility Seed programme InMotion Ventures.
The former CEO of Addison Lee Liam Griffin and a handful of other angel investors also participated in the round.
Zeelo was co-founded by Barney Williams and Sam Ryan, who previously sold ‘JumpIn’, a taxi booking and sharing app for students, to Addison Lee in 2014 while at university.
The company says it has transported more than 3,000 travellers since February.
Speaking about the company’s origins, Williams, said: “Zeelo was born out of our frustration of scheduled transport services not catering well for surges in travel demand.
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“We were fed up with crowded and expensive trains only running from major towns and cities. We aim to understand what people actually need, rather than forcing them into certain types of transport systems.”
The company will use the money to begin expanding across the UK, initially focusing on event travel.
“The inter-urban transport market is worth an estimated £42 billion a year but travellers are not being given the options they deserve,” Ryan noted. “We’ve all experienced overcrowded trains when heading to major events, and lengthy queues when leaving. We want to fix that.”
“Zeelo has the potential to revolutionise the coach industry,” James Nettleton, head of Seed Programme at InMotion Ventures, highlighted.
“This is the type of business we love at InMotion. Operational complexity. Insight into customer needs. Deep data science. All coming together in a compelling consumer proposition. I can’t wait to work with the team to grow the business over the coming years.”
The startup has plans to expand into Europe in late 2018.