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MEIF funding will enable Zipabout Limited to grow its sales function, generating new customer relationships in the UK and Europe.

Birmingham-based Zipabout Limited has secured a £650,000 investment from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) Equity Finance Fund, managed by venture capital firm Midven. The MEIF investment closed a £1.35m funding round, which involved participation from First Derivatives and Founders Factory.

Zipabout works closely with transport operators to improve the experience of transport for all through its unique multi-source, big-data and communications platform. The Zipabout platform combines static, operational and behavioural data to better predict and manage the flow and capacity of transport networks.

Zipabout founders, Alex Froom and Daniel Chick, have an extensive track record in the sector, having worked successfully with large transport companies for a number of years. The MEIF investment has allowed the firm to relocate its headquarters to Birmingham and will also support the deployment of Zipabout’s Passenger Connect product. Formally launched in early 2019, Passenger Connect is a realtime B2B2C platform aimed at transport operators to help them provide personalised door-to-door information for their passengers.

Alex Froom, Founder and Chief Product Officer at Zipabout, said: “At Zipabout, we envisage a future where every transport decision – by individual commuters, planners, investors or operators - is based on genuine knowledge and true insight. This significant investment from MEIF, supported by First Derivatives and Founders Factory, will enable us to reach more transport operators and transform how they communicate with their customers.

“We have some ambitious targets and this extra capital allows us to continue investing in the team and recruiting new talent to help drive the company forward. It’s exciting times for Zipabout and moving our HQ to Birmingham is just the start.”

The MEIF investment will also allow Zipabout to grow its sales function for Passenger Connect generating new customer relationships in the UK and abroad and creating 24 new jobs over the next four years. The additional funding will also accelerate technical development, enabling Zipabout to deliver additional functionality to its clients. Zipabout’s current focus is on the rail sector, however, there are applications for the technology in sectors such as aviation and shipping. Part of the MEIF funding will be used to further explore these opportunities.

Roger Wood, Director at Midven, said: “Zipabout has combined broad access to relevant big data and proprietary behavioural algorithms to develop a highly sophisticated and intelligent platform that has the potential to be a real disruptor in the MaaS sector. It is really exciting for Birmingham, with its strong links to the transportation sector, that Zipabout has located its head office in the city as part of this investment.

“We believe there is a large market for the Passenger Connect product, and an even larger market for the additional functionality currently in development, and are excited to lead this consortium, with First Derivatives providing in-depth technological knowledge and Founders Factory having helped guide Zipabout to this point.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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