Amsterdam-based Transferz has raised €6.5M from a consortium of individual business angels and family offices.
The B2B mobility startup was founded in 2020 by Jan van der Veen, Johan van Vulpen, and Simen Schimmel, and the Dutch startup had gone without raising any funding till now.
With the new funding, Transferz is aiming to reach profitability in the quarters ahead without compromising its growth trajectory.
“We started by providing private transfer services at unparalleled quality powered by a tech-driven solution. This new funding round will allow us to further invest in our technology and to expand our offerings on the Transferz tech platform, with a wider range of ground transportation options in addition to private transfers,” says Johan van Vulpen, CEO of Transferz.
Funding amidst a quiet landscape
The funding landscape has dramatically changed in the past few months due to economic slowdown.
Venture capitalists are increasingly saying no to moonshot ideas and yes to increased diligence. However, Transferz is proving that it is not a bad time to raise funding for a growth startup.
“Compared to a year ago, the sentiment has clearly shifted, and VCs have changed their approach,” says Maarten Vrijhof, CFO of Transferz.
He adds, “Rather than proactively reaching out to companies, they are now focusing on managing their existing portfolios, resulting in a relatively quiet landscape.”
In order to circumvent this situation, Vrijhof says they took the entrepreneurial approach of attracting business angels and family offices “who believe in the story and vision.”
The pullback by venture capitalists has not necessarily been a bad sign for startups as angel investors have stepped in with median deal size.
Vrijhof acknowledges that it required more time to coordinate and align the consortium. “It is ultimately more valuable as we are not only adding capital, but also entrepreneurial-minded individuals and networks that will help us grow further,” he argues.
Growth and profitability
As investors shift their focus to profitable businesses, Transferz aims to become profitable in the next quarter.
Interestingly, the profitability will come while the startup continues its rapid growth across the globe.
As a B2B mobility startup, Transferz helps travelers, traveler service providers, and travel partners with ground transportation, which Future Market Insights expects to grow at an annual CAGR of 4 per cent.
The Dutch company wants to grow by expanding its scalable, easy-to-integrate technology solutions into more ground transportation verticals.
Vrijhof says ground transportation, even though the most important layer in door-to-door journey, is often overlooked. Transferz, he says, aims to address this pain point.
He adds, “With the industry’s increasing focus on ‘the connected journey’ and ‘door-to-door experience’, the demand for our high-quality ground transfer offering is growing every week. We anticipate more and more travel parties will integrate our solution into their offerings via our APIs.”
While Vrijhof does not decline the possibility of expanding on this funding round, he says there is a possibility of expanding teams to support its “growth outlook and strong focus on achieving profitability in the next quarter.”
“We are cautious about pursuing growth for the sake of growth,” he quips.
Focus on public transportation
The core offering of Transferz is private or shared transfers for getting to the airport. The company has now set its sights on adding public transport options to its network.
It is not without competition in this space. Even the likes of ride-sharing services like Uber, Bolt, and Lyft have begun aggregating public transport on their platform.
The edge, Vrijhof believes, lies in the way it delivers its service. “We recognise four important modes of transportation for getting to the airport: private/shared transfers, public transport, rental cars, and personal vehicles,” he says.
“Our ultimate goal is to provide comprehensive first and last mile solutions to travelers, beginning with our core offering of private or shared transfers. We plan to expand to these other verticals in the (near) future, but our first priority is to establish ourselves as the dominant technology player in the private or shared transfer space,” he adds.
Speaking of ride-sharing platforms, Vrijhof says the startup is also seeing enquiries from the players focussing on the B2C vertical.
He says their approach to deliver easy-to-integrate, seamless technology to its B2B travel partners, including OTAs, corporates, tour operators, airlines, will allow it to remain the preferred mode of transportation.
“We have already been approached by these ride-sharing companies to supply them with our global network coverage, enabling them to offer pre-booked services in a trustworthy, high-quality manner,” Vrijhof confirms.
Adding public transportation as an option to its network will also help Transferz enable a sustainable ground transportation.
The startup already offers eco-friendly options in the form of electric transfers to its customers and recently added shared shuttles to its offering.
With public transportation and parking options, it will further expand on the idea of a one-stop solution that not only enables people to reach their destination on time but do so in a sustainable way.
The post-pandemic travel boom is already here with surging demand for air travel, hotel reservation, and rental car bookings. Transferz plays a key role in delivering satisfactory experience with the latter and its reliable supply chain could push it to profitability.