Chloe Shakesby

Environmentally-friendly London traveltech raises £1.1m funding for expansion

A London traveltech startup has announced that it has raised £1.1m funding as it aims for growth.

Byway, which focuses on environmentally-friendly travel, has announced £1.1m of funding from an Innovate UK SMART grant, as well as Founders Factory and angel investors.

This funding will be used to accelerate Byway’s growth, developing its technology and creating new roles in its team.

Angel investors include the founder and CEO of Viator and Rome2Rio, Rod Cuthbert, slow travel guru Ed Gillespie, and former chair of Visit Britain, Christopher Rodrigues.

Cat Jones, founder and CEO of Byway, commented: “Our tech-driven approach to slow travel is not just about providing holiday experiences grounded in travelling through, rather than flying over, but about accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable travel.

“The past year saw the world forced to slow right down. Emerging from lockdown, many people are now choosing slower, more sustainable holidays that take them away from the crowds and help them enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

“We’re taking the time, and the work, out of planning and booking off the beaten path trips by train, boat and bike - and the reception we’ve had has been glowing.

“Our personalised, experience-based approach and on-demand WhatsApp support means holidaymakers get to spend a whole lot of time enjoying their trip and none at all managing multiple tickets, complicated timetables, and changing travel restrictions.”

Ed Gillespie, angel investor, said: “Our investment in Byway is not just about a great bet on a company with a superb founding team and obvious traction, but also about supporting a future of reducing carbon emissions.

“Aviation is a massive contributor to climate change, and over-tourism is a huge ecological issue. Tourism can be restorative to both the people on the trip, and the places they visit. That’s a future I want to invest in.”

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