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Swoop Snags $3.2M to Build SaaS for Local Transportation Businesses

| July 23, 2020

LA Startup Raises Seed Round from Silicon Valley Investors

Annually, there are over 400M people in the US that rely on chauffeured group transportation services, spending more than $40B on it. However, vehicle utilization for these mostly small local operators is currently at 4.9%. On top of that, customers often end up frustrated by analog booking processes, broken communication, and opaque fees. In short, vehicle operators have no or outdated tech solutions, which prevents them from growing their business (and keeping customers happy).

Swoop, based in Los Angeles, just raised $3.2 million in seed funding led by Signia Venture Partners, South Park Commons, and a handful of angel investors to build a tech solution for group mobility owners. The fragmented industry of vehicle owners will now be able to effortlessly book, dispatch, track and manage all their rides through Swoop’s SaaS tool.

“I’m fascinated about how operators are still running most of their business with pen and paper”, says Amir Ghorbani, CEO and Co-Founder of Swoop. As a second-generation immigrant, just like many of the small business vehicle owners, he empathizes with their struggle. Especially during college where he experienced this pain while helping his parents’ limousine business. “I saw a huge opportunity to help these small mom and pop shops, in an under-digitized industry, where no operator has more than 1% market share.

Operators who have started to use Swoop’s technology have seen tremendous changes in their business. Jabula the veteran operator from Los Angeles runs a small shop with 5 vehicles. “I am most excited about the automated customer communication, vehicle tracking, and finally a central location for payments and bookkeeping. As an operator, you have 100 things to do from making sure the drivers are on time, vehicles are clean, taking bookings, and much more”. What has been pen and paper for the industry is now all on one platform.

With the COVID-19 challenges, there was no group transportation for months, and now Swoop is ready to start helping them strive again. This much-needed software will help them to scale up with more efficiently while increasing their customer satisfaction enormously. Through Swoop’s SaaS tool these small businesses have been able to survive.

“We are excited to be early supporters of Swoop as they enable thousands of group transportation providers to streamline day-to-day operations and scale their businesses more effectively” said Ruchi Sanghvi, Facebook’s first female engineer and the Founder of South Park Commons. “Swoop leverages the industry’s existing network effects to unlock the supply side of this highly fragmented market and open up new transportation opportunities for both people and goods.”

It’s easy to understand why investors are enthusiastic about Swoop – While building the SaaS platform, Swoop gained its market expertise through its group transportation market-place and grew 3x in 2019. Individuals and companies are able to book group transportation removing friction and complexity for large events. Companies such as Google, Nike, and Airbnb use Swoop’s booking platform for their group outings. Swoop then passes on these leads to the operators using its SaaS tool, providing additional value to these local businesses.

With more than 100,000 passengers on board, the Swoop team has gained outstanding domain expertise and is on the best path to take the $40B group transportation industry to the next stage – and we are excited to be a part of it, says Ed Cluss, Managing Director from Signia Venture Partners.

Alongside Signia Ventures, a number of high profile investors participated in the financing, including South Park Commons led by their two Managing Partners, Ruchi Sanghvi and Aditya Agarwal, the former CTO of Dropbox. Additionally, Manik Gupta, former Chief Product Officer at Uber, Kevin Weil, Co-Creator of Libra, Kim Fennell, former exec at Uber and Elizabeth Weil, former Partner at Andreessen Horowitz and now at 137 Ventures joined as angels.

Category: Connected Fleet News, Driver Stuff, Featured, Fleet Tracking, General Update, News

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