- Total equity investment reaches $34 million as Zeelo gears up to serve new US enterprise clients and launch new transportation technology features for bus operators
- Three new venture capital firms from Europe and North America complete the round which was led by FlatzHoffmann with additional participation from existing firms ETF Partners, InMotion Ventures and angel investors
- Co-founders Sam Ryan (CEO) and Barney Williams (CCO) relocate to Boston to scale team and accelerate US expansion
- Commitment to reach net-zero services by 2030, with nearly 10% of all UK Zeelo services already operating on battery electric vehicles
BOSTON, Aug. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Zeelo, the global transit-tech company powering bus operators, employers and schools to provide highly efficient, sustainable and affordable private bus and shuttle transport programs, has secured $14 million in its latest Series A extension round from three new venture capital firms, including FlatzHoffmann, the European growth equity investor; IREON Ventures, the venture capital arm of Motor Oil Hellas; and a prominent Boston-based family office with a principal that recently took their Nasdaq listing private for $6 billion.
In an oversubscribed investment round led by FlatzHoffmann, with additional participation from angels and venture capital funds, Zeelo commits to accelerate and scale the team and operations and launch new technology products to serve US enterprise clients and operators for employee shuttle transportation needs for commutes across the East and West coasts.
Zeelo, which has live operations on three continents, is on a mission to accelerate expansion in the US, opening its second headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Co-founders Sam Ryan and Barney Williams have relocated to invest in scaling the team to meet increased demand, while fellow co-founder and CTO Dani Ruiz continues to build the engineering team in Europe to accelerate new product development. Zeelo has already secured contracts with Fidelity as well as two leading multi-site corporate enterprise clients, including the world’s leading e-commerce marketplace and a global shipping and logistics business. This sets the stage for rapid revenue growth at low capital expenditure in the world’s leading developed market. With a proven Transport-as-a-Service (TaaS) platform, Zeelo is well-positioned to capture significant market share and drive sustainable growth within the B2B bus commuting sector in developed markets. The combined US and UK mass transportation market is worth $40 billion.
“Developed markets are underserved for daily mass transportation needs and we have seen increased demand for our transit-tech solution in the United States over the past 12 months,” says Sam Ryan, Co-Founder and CEO at Zeelo. “Due to this demand, we’ve had a growing number of requests from shuttle operators to leverage our technology to improve their client relationships and streamline operations. This new capital will accelerate Zeelo’s expansion across the US for an accelerated rollout of large scale, multi-site transportation contracts, with some of North America’s biggest household brands, as well as further investment in our software offering.”
Zeelo addresses the evolving needs of B2B organizations – such as shift worker employers, office worker employers, schools and universities – providing customized transportation services for daily commutes to suburban and peri-urban areas that lack sufficient mass transit coverage. In addition, Zeelo’s platform offers relevant insights to its clients to plan their headcount, production capabilities, and staff punctuality to save clients on average of 12 hours per week in administrative tasks, increase bus ridership by 50% and enable 43% in cost savings per year, on average, for employee shuttle transportation.
“Our newly set up fund seeks to support technology companies with proven business models and a lasting environmental impact,” says Christopher Hoffmann, Partner at FlatzHoffmann. “We help them navigate the transition from Series A to growth and beyond. Zeelo is a unique and proven mobility player headquartered in Europe with a strong expansion push to the US. It combines a strong transit-tech platform with a clear sustainability mission. We are convinced of Zeelo’s experienced leadership team and their ability to innovate and execute. They have come very far in building their business, and we look forward to supporting their growth strategy for developed markets.”
FlatzHoffmann, which was established this year by Alois Flatz and Christopher Hoffmann, operates in Munich and Zurich with a pan-European reach. The fund targets companies at the later-stage growth phase from Series A onwards, with established customer use-cases, recurring revenues and sound unit economics. Both partners bring substantial investment and operational experience to the table. Alois Flatz was an early partner at Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), a partner at cleantech investor Zouk Capital and a Senior Advisor at Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management fund. Christopher Hoffmann is an operator-investor who was a growth equity investor at Zouk Capital and has a 10-year operational track record as CFO of growth companies, including a successful cleantech IPO in 2016 with va-Q-tec.
Zeelo also passes on CO2 emissions savings to its clients and has committed to transitioning all services to net-zero emissions battery-electric buses by 2030, with nearly 10% of Zeelo’s UK clients having already made the switch to electric buses for their commuter services. Meanwhile in 2022, Zeelo offset over 2,600 tons of CO2 emissions and created over 26,000 employment opportunities, with 70% of Zeelo riders admitting that they rely on the service to commute to work, and without which they would not have been able to accept their job.
Zeelo has an experienced, execution-focused and entrepreneurial management team. The co-founders previously built, led and successfully exited their first transit-tech business to Addison Lee.
For press inquiries, please contact Zeelo:
Sonia Afzal, Head of Communications
firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 (0)7950 467 773
Kathleen Osborne, Kamel PR
email@example.com | +001 607 434 2065
Zeelo is a leading global transit-tech company powering bus operators, employers and schools to provide highly efficient, sustainable and affordable transportation programs. Zeelo provides software and managed services to its clients and partners to increase bus occupancy levels and reduce transportation costs, CO2 emissions and administrative time. Its secure and innovative transportation management software system comprises a SaaS platform, proprietary routing algorithm, mobile apps for riders and drivers, and 24/7 customer support (4.9 TrustPilot rating) ensuring poorly connected commuters have a regular, subsidized and sustainable bus service, wherever they are based. Headquartered in London with an R&D team in Spain and live operations in the UK, US and South Africa, Zeelo was founded in 2016 by Sam Ryan, Barney Williams and Dani Ruiz. The co-founders previously sold their pioneering ride-sharing app JumpIn to Addison Lee in 2014. Zeelo, your next stop. For more information, please visit www.zeelo.co
FlatzHoffmann is a European growth equity investor that invests in environmental tech companies, supporting their transition from venture to growth. The fund backs experienced management teams that harness technology to drive progress and impact within our planetary boundaries. FlatzHoffmann invests across industrial technology, transportation & logistics, energy, sustainable materials and food & agriculture. The fund takes an active approach to partnering with portfolio companies, supporting commercial and organisational growth and leveraging its entrepreneurial ecosystem of fund investors. For more information, please visit www.flatzhoffmann.com
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