LA-based Tech Startup
Swoop Snags SaaS Investment
Swoop, based in Los Angeles, has successfully raised $3.2 million in seed funding led by Signia Venture Partners, South Park Commons, and a handful of angel investors, to build a tech solution for local group mobility owners (SMBs). The fragmented industry of vehicle owners will now be able to effortlessly book, dispatch, track and manage all their rides through Swoop’s SaaS tool.
Annually, there are over 400M people in the US that rely on chauffeured group transportation services, spending more than $40B on it. However, vehicle utilisation for these mostly small local operators is currently at 4.9%. On top of that, customers often end up frustrated by analogue booking processes, broken communication, and opaque fees. In short, vehicle operators have no or outdated tech solutions. This prevents them from growing their business (and keeping customers happy).
- Ed Cluss & Sunny Dhillon, Signia Ventures
- Ruchi, 1st female engineer at Facebook & Aditya, former CTO at Dropbox, South Park Commons Ventures
- AJ Solimine, Evan Tana, 122 West Ventures
- Manik Gupta, former Chief Product Officer at Uber
- Kevin Weil, Co-Creator of Libra, VP of Novi (Facebook)
- Kim Fennell, former Executive at Uber
- Elizabeth Weil, former Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, 137 Ventures
Swoop’s Founding Story
- Amir Ghorbani, CEO and Co-Founder, helped out his parent’s limousine business during high school and college
- With this domain expertise, Swoop built a group transportation marketplace, collaborating with companies like Google, Nike, and Airbnb and individual passengers
- Through these bookings, Amir Ghorbani saw an opportunity to build SaaS/Business management software for vehicle operators who were historically taking orders with pen and paper.
“I’m fascinated about how operators are still running most of their business with pen and paper”, says Amir Ghorbani, CEO and Co-Founder of Swoop.
As a second-generation immigrant, just like many of the small business vehicle owners, he empathises with their struggle. Especially during college where he experienced this pain while helping his parents’ limousine business.
“I saw a huge opportunity to help these small mom and pop shops, in an under-digitized industry, where no operator has more than 1% market share.”
How Swoop helps local businesses?
- Swoop’s software saves time, money and increases efficiencies e.g. Automated customer communication and follow-ups with leads, vehicle tracking, bookkeeping, expense tracking, analytics and more
- Swoop provides additional opportunities to local businesses by passing on the business from its marketplace to the operators (e.g. sourcing a ride with Airbnb and passing it on to the operator that uses our software)
- Swoop supports operators with expertise through “Operator Wiki”. And by building a community to facilitate the exchange of best practices – especially during COVID-19
This much-needed software will help operators scale up with more efficiency while increasing their customer satisfaction enormously. Through Swoop’s SaaS tool these small businesses have been able to survive. Operators who have started to use Swoop’s technology have seen tremendous changes in their business. Jabula the veteran operator from Los Angeles runs a small shop with 5 vehicles.
What has been pen and paper for the industry is now an all in one platform. It’s easy to understand why investors are excited about Swoop. While building the SaaS platform, Swoop gained its market expertise through its group transportation market place and grew 3x in 2019.
Individuals and companies are able to book group transportation removing friction and complexity for large events. Companies such as Google, Nike, and Airbnb use Swoop’s booking platform for their group outings. Swoop then passes on these leads to the operators using its SaaS tool, providing additional value to these local businesses.
With more than 100,000 passengers on board, the Swoop team has gained outstanding domain expertise. It is on the best path to take the $40B group transportation industry to the next stage.
“We are excited to be a part of it”, says Ed Cluss, Managing Director from Signia Venture Partners.