Snap in trouble?

A lack of funding has meant coach hire app, Snap, has ceased operating. Its website states it has suspended the business.

Speaking to Bus and Coach Buyer, the company’s CEO, Thomas Ableman, said: “Securing the funding needed has taken longer than required.”

All outstanding bookings made through the app have been cancelled and customers have been given a full refund.

However, Thomas made it clear the app is not to completely disappear. There are plans for it to return. It has promoted this on its Facebook page, with a message saying: “Please show your support by liking our page and encouraging your friends to do the same. We plan to relaunch Snap in September, once new funding is in place.”

Asked why September, he said: “September is a key time for operators. In the autumn, you have students returning to university and we thought that would make a good opportunity for us to relaunch then.”

The Snap app connected intercity travellers with coaches and drivers, using technology to predict when people want to make trips. It focused on giving low prices. It also gives users a real-time map of where the coach is on the journey. Once booked using Snap, passengers need only tell the driver their name; there are no tickets.

Snap was founded in 2016 by Thomas Ableman, former Commercial Director of Chiltern Railways and Product Development Director of National Express. According to its website, it has carried over 100,000 people since its launch. It began with a test connection between Nottingham and London in October 2016, supported by £1m, raised from investors from inside and outside the coach industry. It has since expanded to include Bristol, Cardiff, Leicester and Birmingham. Snap benefited with support from Kindred Capital, Oxford Capital and ADV.

Coach operators Snap has worked with includes: Anderson, Astons, Bakers Dolphin, Berkeley, Birmingham International, Centurion, Falcon, Johnsons, Linburg, NAT, Oxford Bus Company, Prospect, Redwing, Roberts, Reading Buses, Slacks, Solus. Symphony, Watts and Winsons.

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