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Pop-up coach provider Zeelo
receives £1.2m seed funding

By The Whisperer

With many years in the coach and bus industry, The Whisperer keeps his ear to the ground for all the latest tit-bits and gossip. Tell him what’s going on in your part of the world: e-mail him via

On-demand coach service Zeelo has closed a £1.2m seed round, led by InMotion Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s mobility venture arm, alongside other investors including Travel Republic founder Kane Pirie, TfL board member Michael Leibreich and Manchester-based Swans Travel.

Founded in London in February, Zeelo uses ‘big data and machine learning’ to understand where surges in travel demand aren’t met by existing transport options.

This enables allows the company to provide direct ‘pop-up’ coach routes that cut travel times by up to 40%. Their platform integrates with 20,000 coaches across the UK to serve demand.

Zeelo has carried 20,000 customers since launch with a focus on large events, including working with football clubs including Aston Villa, Man City and Wolverhampton.

It plans to use the funding to roll out its technology across different markets in the UK and Europe including city-to-city travel and airports.

Zeelo co-founders Barney Williams, Sam Ryan and Dani Ruiz sold their previous start up JumpIn, a taxi booking and sharing app for students, to Addison Lee in 2014 while still at university.

“We’re delighted to be an investor in Zeelo. Its operator friendly, innovate approach has led to us filling down time across our fleet,” says Swans Travel MD Kieran Swindells.

“We truly believe that this is a solid business with a great team that is going to help plenty of operators across the globe”.

“Now it’s about scaling up fast and showing exactly what Zeelo technology can do,” says Mr Ryan.

“Our platform allows specific communities to book seats on our data-driven routes, while we’ll also cater for groups who want to go from A to B in a cost effective and hassle free manner.

“We need to remodel a £1.8bn industry and work with the nation's top operators to provide a brilliant service to our customers.”