Travel Local secures investment from Active Partners and Gresham House

Global B2C online tailor-made holidays marketplace has attracted an unspecified cash injection.

The new investment has been made by Gresham House Ventures, which provides capital to high-growth entrepreneurial businesses.

TravelLocal claims to be disrupting one of the last segments of travel which remains offline by connecting consumers directly with handpicked experts based in their destination.

This bypasses the traditional UK-based middleman, for better expertise and value, but retains the security of Abta and Atol protection.

TravelLocal is building a global brand, having taken bookings from clients in 39 origin countries around the world and offering 53 destinations so far.

The investment is part of a growth capital funding round which also includes Active Partners.

TravelLocal was founded by Tom Stapleton, Huw Owen and Mark Hudson and launched its managed marketplace in 2016.

It predominantly operates within the long-haul, multi-destination holiday market, focusing on private itineraries for higher-end and mid-level clients.

This segment of the travel market is growing strongly, boosted by increasing appetite for authentic, experiential travel, particularly amongst the over 50s demographic.

The addressable UK market is expected to hit £3.9 billion this year, while the US market is over £6 billion.

The business has so far focused its marketing activities on UK-based customers.

It sees “significant scope” to increase its international presence with this additional funding.

Gresham House Ventures invests equity of up to £5 million in growth businesses, while providing transformational capital and expertise to accelerate business potential.

Active Partners, which leads the investor syndicate, has previously funded Soho House, cycling brand Rapha and Leon Restaurants.

Gresham House was especially attracted by TravelLocal’s exceptional client feedback – with a Net Promoter Score of more than 80 – and the global reach of the brand.

TravelLocal managing director Stapleton said: “We are in an exciting period of growth at TravelLocal and are thrilled to have secured this additional investment from Gresham House Ventures, alongside Active Partners.

“We’re proud of the global marketplace and brand we have created and are excited about utilising this funding to further accelerate our growth.”

Gresham House Ventures associate director Tom Makey, added: “TravelLocal is at a pivotal point in its growth journey as it looks to increase market share and expand internationally.

“The travel space, like many sectors, is experiencing significant change and this managed marketplace and platform demonstrates how technology is being used to facilitate a better and more intuitive experience for travellers.”


Masabi secures £15.25 million Series E investment led by Smedvig Capital and MMC Venture

Investment from Smedvig Capital and MMC Ventures to fuel expansion of Masabi’s ticketing and payments platform and build on strategic partnerships with Uber, Transit, Jorudan and Keolis

London and New York – April 30, 2019 – Masabi, the company bringing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ticketing and payments to public transport, today announced a $20 million growth funding round with investment led by Smedvig Capital with MMC Ventures and other existing investors. The capital will accelerate Masabi’s global expansion of its award-winning mobility platform, Justride, and fast-track the company’s role in bringing digital transformation to transit agencies and operators of all sizes, enabling the foundations for integrated multi-modal journeys.

On target to exceed $1bn in annual transit ticketing sales over the coming year, Masabi will continue building on its recent additions to Justride, which removes the need for passengers to buy a ticket. Instead, they simply tap a contactless bank card, mobile phone or smartcard to travel. These innovations, together with world-first integrations with transport leaders including UberTransitJorudan and Keolis, are making it easier for people to discover and access public transit services in an efficient and scalable way, helping place public transit at the center of the global Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) movement.

“With over 85 million journeys enabled by the Justride platform in 2018 and partnerships with some of the biggest names in mobility, Masabi is already a category leader and the opportunities for global growth are significant,” said Jonathan Lerner, MD at Smedvig. “The combination of Masabi’s track record of customers, innovation and technology made this investment decision one we feel extremely enthusiastic about and we are excited about working closely with them to accelerate their global expansion.”

“We’re proud to see Masabi having scaled from London to the world, changing the way people move around cities every day. $1bn in annual ticket sales is only a milestone – the next phase is about partnering with and powering those that the public trust to get them where they are going, from transit agencies to ride-sharing and planning apps. As one of Masabi’s earliest investors, it has been great to have Smedvig Capital buy into Masabi’s vision.” Simon Menashy, Partner, MMC Ventures.

“For too long, cutting-edge innovation in transit ticketing was only available to mega cities with multi $100m budgets. But a quick and easy ticketing experience shouldn’t be the sole preserve of these cities. It should be available to passengers using any public transport service anywhere around the globe,” said Brian Zanghi, CEO of Masabi. “Through innovations such as simply being able to tap a contactless bank card to travel and integrations into the top mobility apps, Masabi is delivering on this vision. As we enter a new phase, having the support of Smedvig Capital, MMC Ventures, Mastercard and our other investors means we can continue to drive the market forward and help ever more cities and transit operators around the world embrace the latest in ticketing and payments technology and the future of practical MaaS.”

Masabi’s Justride platform is currently in operation with more than 50 transport agencies in ten countries, from tier one cities to local bus operators, including for Boston MBTA, National Express, New York MTA, HTM The Hague, TAO Orleans, Denver RTD, LA Metrolink, Lurraldebus in Spain, My Fast Ferry in Sydney and Las Vegas RTC.

Integrated mobility delivered to transit agencies around the globe:

Masabi, which developed the first and only ticketing Justride Software Development Kit (SDK) for public transport, enables urban mobility providers such as journey planners and bike-, scooter- and ride-sharing services to integrate public transit into their applications, connecting services for a seamless passenger experience:

  • In April, Masabi and Transit launched an integrated service for riders in St. Catharines, Canada, enabling them to use Transit to access and ride on public transit services
  • Early in 2019, Masabi announced a new combined solution with Uber and Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver – the first US-based transit agency to benefit from an integrated public transit experience within the Uber app
  • Globally, Masabi’s Justride SDK is now live in France and Spain with SDK partners Kisio Digital and Gertek, and in Japan through a partnership with Jorudan, Japan’s leading trip planning service

About Masabi

Masabi provides Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ticketing and payments to public transport agencies of all sizes around the globe. Through our fare collection platform, Justride, agencies can sign up to mobile ticketing services, deploy an account-based full fare collection solution using a contactless bank card, mobile device and smartcard, and enable Mobility as a Service (MaaS) through the Justride SDK.

Justride unifies account-based and pre-pay ticketing into a single configurable solution. Its SaaS architecture, ‘Mobile First‘ approach and Bring Your Own Ticket (BYOT) philosophy, allows transit providers to deliver innovation quickly, delighting passengers and reducing costs, while increasing operational efficiency and data insights.

Masabi is the category creator for transit mobile ticketing and with over 50 clients across 10 countries the Justride platform is the most widely deployed end-to-end mobile and account-based ticketing solution in operation, serving the largest agency in the USA to the smallest bus operator. It has offices in New York, London, Denver and Cluj. Masabi is backed by Alvarium Investments, m8 Capital, Mastercard, MMC Ventures, Keolis and Smedvig Capital.

About Smedvig Capital

Smedvig Capital is a London based growth capital investor. We are now investing our 14th fund, having deployed more than $800M over the last 20+ years in Series A and Series B funding rounds. We are passionate about finding and supporting the best tech enabled businesses in the UK and Nordics. We pride ourselves on developing a deep understanding of the sectors we invest in. We have a track record of re-investing multiple times to support our portfolio. We roll up our sleeves and get involved when you want our help.

About MMC Ventures

MMC Ventures is a research-led venture capital firm which has backed more than 60 high-growth technology companies from the Seed and Series A stage since 2000. MMC’s dedicated research function enables the firm to have a deeper understanding of the businesses it backs and supports them with strategic projects throughout MMC’s investment.

MMC focuses on scaling enterprise software and consumer internet companies with the potential to disrupt huge markets. The firm has one of the largest SaaS portfolios in Europe and recent SaaS exits include CloudSense, Invenias and NewVoiceMedia. MMC also has a dynamic B2C portfolio including Interactive Investor, Bloom & Wild and Gousto.

MMC’s research team publishes content on its findings via: mmcventures.comMMC Writes and at @MMC_Ventures.


General Motors takes 35% stake in Chester technology start-up wejo

Richard Barlow, CEO of wejo said:  “This strategic partnership with GM represents a major step forward for wejo and puts us at the forefront of the connected car revolution. It’s a statement of intent from one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. Connected car data is of enormous value, not least to drivers who will be able to use it to unlock an evolving number of benefits, whether that’s cheaper insurance and fuel or a place to park.”

  • wejo has completed a Series B investment round of US$103 million which values the business at US$275 million; GM now has a minority stake in wejo
  • This underpins the major strategic partnership wejo now has with GM, and establishes wejo as the world’s leading connected car data technology business
  • This follows a Series A fundraise which had a first close of US$6.5 million in January 2018 and a second close of US$8.5 million in July 2018
  • wejo will continue to engage in data sharing agreements with other auto manufacturers
  • This partnership with GM will fundamentally deliver major benefits to drivers. It will enhance vehicle safety and improve the driving and ownership experience by facilitating the development of new products and services, such as real-time parking availability and accurate local fuel price comparisons. Both wejo and GM want to deliver a better driving experience
  • This development represents a major milestone for wejo and establishes its place as the world’s leading connected car data exchange business, with a proven business model and platform that can deliver commercial benefits to auto manufacturers and end-user customers (in particular in the following industries: traffic & mapping, urban mobility, insurance, parking, geolocation)
  • The value of this data exchange will impact not just the driver but the wider community too, as wejo collaborates with partners such as local governments. Sharing data with them will allow authorities to improve traffic signalling, with benefits for air quality by reducing emissions and traffic congestion, for example.
  • This deal will radically accelerate wejo’s growth and impact, delivering scale, opportunities and funding

The connected car market is predicted to rise to over 250 million cars by 2020 (Gartner) and the global market opportunity is estimated at US$750 billion (McKinsey).

wejo was established in 2014 and it currently tracks 7 million vehicles, to date it has curated 78 billion miles of data. It has 150 employees based in Chester and Manchester (UK) and in San Jose (US).

An infographic and corporate fact sheet is attached for your information and here is a link to a short video highlighting what wejo does:  /