London, 3 May 2022 – RideTandemThe startup mobility as a service that provides affordable and reliable transport solutions for people affected by “transport poverty” has raised £ 1.75 million in initial funding. 1818 Venture capital led a circle, nearby Conduit Connect, Low Carbon Innovation Fundseveral angels and previous investors Ascension and Sowers. The investment comes after two years of 10-fold growth in RideTandem – generating more than £ 10 million in new revenue for passengers from its services since launch – and will support continued hiring, especially in product management and engineering, while RideTandem builds your team.
RideTandem was founded in 2019 Alex Chapland House – former head of the educational charity The future comes first – with the former Global Innovation Fund investment director Tatzeng Chiam and the former Rent technical director Hugh McLeod. It works with taxi companies, minibuses and bus companies to provide suburban services to employers whose employees might not otherwise be able to work due to cost, inconvenience or complete lack of existing public transport options. RideTandem operates outside cities and urban centers, currently its coverage is strongest in the Midlands and East of England. Clients include Royal Mail, Primark, Transport for the West Midlands, Direct Table Foods, Banham Poultry, as well as recruitment agencies Manpower, Reed, First Call Contract Services and Everest People Solutions.
Shepland House, Chiam and McLeod met as part of an impact-oriented enterprise building program Zincas part of a cohort that looks at ways to support communities left behind by globalization and automation. Explaining the genesis of the idea, co-founder and CEO Alex Shapland-Howes said:
“We met some parents in a small town outside Rochdale. To hear their experience of transport poverty – they were looking for work, there were opportunities in just 15 minutes, but they could not travel and there was no opportunity to get on public transport – was impressive.
Reflecting on the UK Government’s plan – part of its “Raising the Level” agenda – to bring the standard of public transport across the UK much closer to London, Schapland House added:
“Many jobs outside cities are reliably only available by car or taxi. Half of the 20 percent with the lowest wages don’t own a vehicle – and can’t afford a taxi – so count on public transportation. But nearly 5,000 bus routes, more than one in four, have been canceled since 2012, and outside cities and larger cities the remaining services are often too expensive, rare and unreliable, affecting employment prospects and social mobility of people. Despite recent promises, we have not seen the investment from the government that would be needed to address this across the country, so models such as RideTandem could play an important role in local transport. ”
RideTandem recently reached £ 10 million of new revenue created for passengers, with £ 6.5 million in 2021 alone. Revenue has grown 10 times for two consecutive years, and in the 4th quarter of 2021 the company achieved a return on EBITDA. “We are pleased to prove that we have a sustainable business model that creates real benefits for all parties – passengers, employers and transport companies. Unlike many startups in the field of mobility, all the investment we receive goes to business development, not to subsidizing tariffs to maintain superficial viability. ” said Schapland House.
This sustainable model is based on the fact that employers subsidize tariffs as an investment in expanding their capacity – some even cover the full cost by providing free transportation as an advantage. Employers also run the risk that the route will not be unprofitable – just £ 500 per route per month. Employers also receive real-time passenger information, providing early warning of potential staffing problems.
Transport providers – mostly independent local businesses – receive a new, reliable revenue stream, with many guaranteeing capacity. RideTandem has created a patented dispatching system including driver and fleet management features as well as an app for drivers, but also works flexibly with transport partners, developing customized integrations with their existing systems to make working with RideTandem as easy as possible. RideTandem also provides customer service and digital ticket support, which many transportation partners are using for the first time.
Passengers use a mobile app designed to make booking blocks easy and provide flexibility as to when payments are accepted – both features are missing in most travel apps and other mobile apps, but are very important for low-income workers. The app also includes a live location for vehicle tracking.
RideTandem manages both seasonal and year-round routes, linking employees to jobs they might not otherwise be able to reach. The average passenger rides 20 or more times a month, which generates higher and more constant repetitions per rider than most travel apps.
Trips on RideTandem services currently generate an annual amount of CO2 a displacement of 1,000 metric tons compared to the same car journeys. The average RideTandem car carries more than 20 passengers – up from 1.16 for the average suburban car – and runs at more than 70 percent capacity. Employers can also purchase carbon credits to offset emissions from their workers ’trips to work. This positive impact on the environment indicates the applicability of the RideTandem model to a much larger target market as the company grows, Schapland House explained:
“So far, we’ve focused on the blue-collar transport poverty – which is quite unusual for a venture capital-supported business to primarily serve low-income workers – and it will always be central to our business. But the opportunity to provide our services to a wider range of workers in different regions, for whom environmental impact is more of a concern than cost or convenience – pushing more affluent workers who usually go to work, to common alternatives – is huge. “
Mark Smith, partner of 1818 Venture Capital, said: “Transport poverty is one of the most underestimated issues of social justice, and the RideTandem team has achieved a remarkable effect in such a short time using innovative technologies. Even more impressive is that this was done while building a fully self-sufficient business model and significant growth even in a pandemic. We look forward to supporting RideTandem as they continue to grow their businesses and change lives across the UK and beyond. ”
RideTandem creates the next generation of mobility outside cities and towns. Working with local transportation companies, RideTandem provides high-quality, affordable, reliable and sustainable collaborative transportation solutions that connect people in transport poverty with work they would not otherwise be able to get. Since its inception in 2019, RideTandem has received more than £ 10 million in new revenue for passengers, and employers use RideTandem, including Royal Mail, Primark, Transport for the West Midlands, Direct Table Foods, Banham Poultry and Manpower, Reed, First Call Contract Services and Everest People Solutions.
Founded by Alex Shepland-Haus – former Managing Director of Future First – along with former Global Innovation Fund Investment Director Tatzen Chiam and former Hireup CTO Hugh McLeod, RideTandem is supported by investors including European Agency Zinc Vents, Ascen VC Department of Transportation, Sowing, Conduit Connect, Low Carbon Innovation Fund and Venture Capital 1818.
Biography of the co-founder
- Alex Shepland-House, Co-Founder and CEO: Since beginning his teaching career, Alex has been the Managing Director of the charity educational organization Future First, which works to increase social mobility by connecting public school students with successful graduates. Alex led the growth of Future First – reaching about 20% of all schools and colleges in the UK. He then completed an MBA degree with a scholarship for social entrepreneurs and, inspired to start a business that combines income with a goal, joined Zinc’s business creation program. There he met co-founders Tatzenga and Hugh, and was inspired by a meeting with parents in Rochdale who were unemployed as a result of transport poverty. RideTandem was founded to ensure that transportation will never be an obstacle to work.
- Tatseng Chiam, co-founder and CEO: Tatseng was the investment director and sixth employee of the Global Innovation Fund, London’s Social Impact Investment Fund, where he managed numerous investments in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Prior to that, he was a consultant at Monitor Group.
- Hugh McLeod, co-founder and CTO: Hugh was CTO and first employee at Hireup, an Australian startup that allows people with disabilities to find, hire and manage their support staff. In 2017, he was named the fastest growing startup in Australia.
- Andy Young, former head of state in the UK, Stripe
- Beck Kloss, former vice president of Spotify products
- Catherine Lanson, first female partner at Softbank Vision Fund, and Jonathan Lanson, CEO of Milltown Partners
- Jonathan Petrides, founder and CEO of Allplants
- Saasha Celestial-One, co-founder and CEO of OLIO
About 1818 venture capital
1818 Venture Capital is an investment company from Guernsey that invests in technology companies in the early stages and in the growth stage in the UK. With a philosophy driven by close partnerships with its portfolio companies and their exceptional management teams, 1818 combines financial success with positive outcomes for society to create value for all stakeholders. The 1818 Venture Capital company, founded in Guernsey in 2012 by Richard Avery-Wright, has a very successful experience of investing in transforming companies that are leaders in digital innovation or in markets that are growing in niches.