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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucester business invests £1.3m in tech-for-good firm

A socially-minded technology company set to transform the travel experiences of those with reduced mobility has secured investment in a funding round co-led by Brockworth-based Blackfinch.

Transreport, which has offices in London and Glasgow, has designed an app that helps rail passengers with disabilities and mobility restrictions by better enabling rail operators and station staff to respond to booked assistance requests.

The innovative Passenger Assistance tool - which is already being trialled by major rail operators including West Midlands Railway, Northwestern Railway and Govia Thameslink Railway - allows passengers to alert staff to their needs as part of their everyday journeys, making rail travel more accessible and socially inclusive for all.

The progressive technology also means staff can respond effectively to changes in the event of cancellations, delays, platform alterations or missed trains, and is set to transform the travel experiences of those with reduced mobility.

This investment round was led by Reuben Wilcock of Blackfinch and Pete Carway and Louise Chapman of Praetura Ventures. Andy Sumner, portfolio managing director of Praetura Ventures, will join the Transreport board as a non-executive director.

Blackfinch will have invested a total of £1.3m by tax-year-end, and Praetura Ventures has invested £1m as part of the deal, which includes personal investment from Dominic McGregor, co-founder of Social Chain and one of Praetura Ventures' venture partners.

This investment will now allow Transreport to drive expansion, as well as invest in marketing for key products. With the support of the teams at Blackfinch and Praetura Ventures, Transreport also plans to further solidify its multi-modal proposition.

Jay Shen, founder of Transreport, said: "Both Blackfinch and Praetura Ventures instantly recognised what Transreport is trying to achieve: make transport more accessible. Their respective strategic visions for a more equal, equitable and inclusive society aligns completely with our own."

Reuben Wilcock, head of ventures at Blackfinch, said: "Transreport's unique proposition provides a practical solution to an everyday challenge experienced by the rail operators and their customers. The Passenger Assistance tool makes train travel more accessible to those with disabilities and mobility challenges, and that concept perfectly aligns with the Blackfinch Group's commitment to investing in companies that are making a positive impact on society."

The funds have been secured from Blackfinch's EIS Ventures Portfolios, which invests in innovative start-up and early-stage technology companies across the UK in a variety of industry sectors, and its Spring Venture Capital Trust (VCT), which invests primarily in companies at the start of their growth journey.

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