Keepin’ It real, Cockroaches, And The Next Stop On Our Journey
We announced our $14M capital raise this week. Thank you to everyone who supports us and keeps the wheels moving!
We announced our $14M capital raise this week. I couldn’t be more proud of our team for the way they’ve navigated a challenging market to scale profitably across three countries while continuing to invest in our technology platform. Thank you to everyone who supports us and keeps the wheels moving - our teams, riders, clients, operator partners and drivers. We welcome on board several new investors, including the lead investor of our latest fundraise FlatzHoffmann, as well as continued support from our board and existing investors, ETF Partners, InMotion Ventures and many others. Grateful to all of you for backing this team to deliver and expand operations in the US.
As a founder, closing a funding round doesn’t feel like many think it does. Fundraising processes are long, arduous and distracting. The first thing you want to do is get back in the business and to aim higher; instead of stepping back, celebrating and reflecting on what’s been achieved and what we’ve learned.
I promised to reward myself with a moment this time! With the celebration complete, here’s some reflections:
Keepin’ It Real
A lot of the mistakes I’ve made as CEO correlate with times I got carried away with what was happening outside the company. What potential new investors thought we should be doing, what the competition was doing or the hype created by others in the mobility space (and there’s been a ton of that!)
All those things are helpful data points but they shouldn’t drive your strategy and decision making. Sure, keep an open mind but we’ve had more success whenever we just focus on what we’re seeing in the market, what customers are telling us, and what we think is right. Here’s how I think about the three in turn:
Investors provide helpful external perspectives ahead of future capital events but they rarely truly understand the core drivers of your business and your customers.
Y Combinator borrowed advice: ‘Ignore your competitors, you will more likely die of suicide than murder’.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
The last point might sound a little cynical but we’ve seen enough mobility companies of all shapes and sizes over the past few years fail to meet the promises they made in the press. As a result of hype and investor FOMO, we’re left with a mobility-tech vacuum. It’s time to get real. The opportunity is huge, but moving people is hard, so focus on solving real problems that have impact and that people will pay for. Not something that sounds cool. On the whole, we’ve handled this part well as a business by ensuring we stay laser focussed on our customers’ needs and looking after our team.
(I prefer to be seen as a realist, as opposed to a cynic or pessimist. My team doesn’t always agree)
Cockroaches And Orcas
I was recently introduced to someone by one of our investors (Jon at Dynamo) as a cockroach. Insult or compliment? After a brief period of confusion, I opted for the latter.
Cockroaches survive even when you try to kill them - they’re resilient. But I also feel the analogy is lacking. We are flexible and nimble. Those characteristics have allowed our TransitTech business to thrive through a pandemic, a downturn and a bunch of other headwinds the world has thrown at us. It’s only possible to be agile if it runs top to bottom through the organization; not just in our team but also in the way our board operates, in our business model and the way we work with our partners.
Our team brand mascot is the Orca, and that’s what we are. Independent, strong, agile, team players, and yes we’re fierce when we need to be. We don’t give up.
Too much time is spent fixating on unicorns!
The Next Step On Our Journey
We’ve built a profitable leader in the UK and established product-market fit in the US market. There’s an incredible opportunity ahead of us. We intend to:
Continue the multi-million dollar investment in our technology platform; particularly as we see the immense value it’s driving for our customers and the efficiencies created for our internal operations. On average, the platform drives 99% on-time performance, a 50% increase in ridership and a 43% reduction in cost vs. a traditional operator
Double down on our net zero 2030 commitment. We’ve gone from 0% to 10% of UK trips completed with electric vehicles - we intend to double that in the next year
Launch new products to open up our technology to the wider market; particularly with fleet operator partners beginning to utilize our technology on their own contracts
Double down on our US expansion, with Barney and I relocating to Boston to support the team on the ground here.
Thanks to all those who have supported the journey so far: the pod, our board, our shareholders, our customers, our operator partners, our riders, and our drivers. Ready to take this to the next level? I am.
For the pod,
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