Published on
May 3, 2022

Reflections on funding and the future

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Building a startup is hard. It’s easy to spend all hours thinking about what we could do better. But I think one of the best bits of advice I’ve had (from my Mum!) is to try to celebrate when things go well.

In that vein, I’m excited to finally be able to reveal that we’ve closed a new funding round for RideTandem - a £1.75 million seed investment led by 1818 Venture Capital and also including Conduit Connect, the Low Carbon Innovation Fund, Ascension, Seedrs, and a number of excellent angels.

While we’re not really prone to tooting our own horns, this does feel like an appropriate time to reflect briefly on what we’ve achieved so far before refocusing on what the future holds. In just over two years since launching in late 2019, we have:

  • Created more than £10 million in new earnings for people who were being kept out of the workforce not by any lack of skills or effort, but by the impact of transport poverty, while also…
  • …proving that the underlying business model can not only deliver value for all three of our core stakeholder groups - employees, employers, and transport companies - but also make us a profitable company.

I can’t tell you how proud it makes me - and every one of my colleagues - that we’ve been able to combine profit and purpose with such success. Having very deliberately set out on that path, with solving transport poverty at the heart of our business, it’s immensely gratifying to have been able to make such an impact so early in our journey.

It feels a lifetime ago that I met a group of unemployed fathers in 2019 in a small town near Rochdale and was inspired to get started - but we’ve still only really scratched the surface. Having built our underlying tech and proved our model - and created such life-changing impact even at our current scale - we all feel ready to attack this next chapter. We do it with the backing of some fantastic investors, whose support will be invaluable as we plot the next stage of our ascent. And we do it with a new name!

Now felt like the right moment to commit to a change we’d been considering for a while: the startup that was born as Tandem becomes RideTandem. It’s a change driven by pragmatism for the most part - some people were already calling us RideTandem because of our website URL, customers and partners responded well to it when we started testing the new name with them, and, well… there are a few other Tandems out there in the startup world, and we wanted a name for the next phase that would help us stand out.

News coverage over the past few weeks has really hammered home just how important our mission is. Jennifer Williams’ article in the FT and her accompanying thread on Twitter really elucidate how shockingly big the issue we’re working to solve is. And while the government has talked a good game about the importance of transforming bus services, we’re yet to see the investment and reform necessary to make a dent in the issue.

We have an opportunity to make a huge difference to millions of people and build a massive business in doing so. Our fantastic team is growing. We’re working on it!

If you’d like to explore new opportunities to get your team to work in an effective and sustainable way, then contact RideTandem today via or 01933812235.

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