Turquoise, the UK merchant bank specialising in energy, environment and efficiency, has announced its seventh deal for the Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 (LCIF2), a £330,000 investment in mobility app company SKOOT RIDE.COM Ltd (SKOOT).
SKOOT was founded in 2019 to promote and facilitate lift sharing amongst friends and colleagues. Passengers share the costs of the journey, but as the driver does not make a profit, this ensures that the driver is not subject to the regulations governing taxi services. The passenger will pay between 10% and 30% of the cost of a traditional taxi.
SKOOT’s app went live on Apple and Android in September 2020, with architecture built for scale, and current capacity to handle a million rides per hour. In addition to lift sharing, SKOOT has also built ERRANDS, a service to help friends to support each other with errands such as collecting medicine from a pharmacy or click ‘n’ collect shopping, either for free or for a £5 tip. The service is proving timely among those quarantined or shielding at home.
Francis Wright, Managing Director at Turquoise, commented: “We were impressed by the SKOOT team who are already proven entrepreneurs. SKOOT has advantages of safety, cost, environmental impact and regulation compared with taxis. The platform is already built and robust and we see potential for large scale and international expansion of this innovative business.”
Greg Gormley, CEO of SKOOT added: “We are delighted to be joined by LCIF2 and welcome them on this exciting journey. At SKOOT we ensure all drives taken on the platform are carbon negative by planting a tree for every three journeys. SKOOT connects friends and enables them to help one another, whether by getting them somewhere or collecting something for them, all through an easy-to-use app.”
LCIF2 is funded by European Regional Development Fund, with the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as the Managing Authority.
SKOOT is a carbon-negative mobility app that connects friends who drive with friends who need errands or lifts. It cleverly maps the best travel route, enables auto collection of payment for petrol and running costs and also carbon offsets the whole journey.
The UK start-up raised £1.6m previously to accelerate growth and solve societal mobility issues. In February it won a further £75,000 award from Innovate UK to help build the Errands feature. The start-up has grown rapidly, and now employs 16 full time staff, with plans to expand across Europe, North America, Canada and Australia.
SKOOT is live on AppStore and Google PlayStore. The App is free to download with no hidden costs or charges. SKOOT offers users a £5 Ride Credit when registering, and £5 cash bonus the first time someone completes an Errand Drive, or gives a lift for their friend.
SKOOT keeps a close eye on Government guidelines on COVID and social distancing to ensure its users stay as safe as possible.
SKOOT is a totally carbon-negative business which calculates how much carbon is output from every ride undertaken on the platform, plus all the carbon that every person working for SKOOT emits and then plants trees to ensure its Carbon Negative mantra.
LCIF2 is managed by Turquoise and is a venture capital fund investing in eligible small to medium sized businesses based in England, particularly the areas covered by its local government backers, developing products and services which will have a beneficial environmental impact.
LCIF2 is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), following a successful bid by Norfolk County Council and the University of East Anglia. ERDF is an investment programme part financed by the European Union. LCIF2 is part of the UK government’s portfolio of business support products.
LCIF2 has received £10.9m (for co-investment alongside private monies) from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for this funding. Established by the European Union, the ERDF helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.
For more information visit www.gov.uk /european-growth-funding.