Envestors portfolio company Loco2 successfully exits
Voyages-sncf.com Group, the France-based European e-travel business, has completed the acquisition of Loco2, the fast-growing UK-based online rail travel booking startup for the UK and Europe.
The acquisition of Loco2, () is part of Voyages-sncf.com Group’s on-going growth strategy for the UK market and its wider European development, aimed to make the Group the leader in train distribution in Europe in 2020. Recognising their talent and their technological capabilities the Group has decided to invest in Loco2 in order to enable their genuine customer-centric approach to flourish and grow.
Loco2 will complement the existing activities of the Group contributing to its ‘Smart Tourism’strategy working alongside the other Group’s brands.
Like any tech startup, Loco2 needed financing, but unlike many of their peers, Loco2 has never taken venture capital or private equity investment. Instead, they’ve relied on a relatively small group of friends, family and angel investors, including members of the Envestors Private Investor Network who share their vision for European rail. The Voyages-SNCF.com transaction has delivered healthy returns to shareholders.
Franck Gervais, General Manager of Voyages-sncf.com Group, said:
"We are excited to welcome Loco2 and their great potential to the Group. Our aim is to accelerate our international growth and the investment in Loco2 brings new capabilities as part of our development and new projects for the UK and European markets. Through this investment we are offering Loco2 the perfect environment to further grow and enable Kate and Jamie Andrews, the two co-founders to continue writing their story.”
Kate Andrews, Co-founder of Loco2, comments:
"We’ve always seen the train operators and distributors as our allies, so we’re thrilled to partner with Voyages-sncf.com Group who share our passion for rail. Joining the Group puts Loco2 closer to the heart of European rail, and is the best way to supercharge Loco2 technology, while maintaining our obsession with customer satisfaction. We think that the combination of Voyages-sncf.com’s strong industry expertise and Loco2’s ambition to simplify rail booking will be a formidable force.”
Scott Haughton, COO Envestors, comments: "Since successfully introducing investment into Loco2 in 2013 from members of our Private Investment Network, we have been pleased to witness a solid track record of growth for the company, culminating in this transaction which has provided strong ROI for our members and clearly a very good outcome for the company and its founders, Kate and Jamie.”
Voyages-sncf.com Group is a subsidiary of the French National Railway Company, SNCF and responsible for the online distribution of high-speed and conventional rail travel, through the Voyages-sncf.com brand in Europe and the Rail Europe brand in the rest of the world. An expert in European rail travel and destinations, the Group is recognised as a digital pioneer and leader in Smart Tourism. In 2016 the Group recorded a 3.5% increase in ticket sales, rising to 86 million tickets (up from 83 million tickets in 2015), with total sales reaching €4.1billion.
Loco2 is an online booking service for train travel in the UK and Europe. It sells tickets without booking fees through its website and via its smartphone apps which are available on iOS and Android platforms. Founded in 2012 by brother and sister Jamie and Kate Andrews, Loco2 reported sales of GBP £15.5 million in 2016, up 40% since 2015. Its rail search technology currently covers 37 rail operators – including SNCF, which was its first partner in 2012 – 25 countries and 20,000 stations.