SilverRail captures $15M funding round, wants to make rail tickets as easy to book as air
One of the biggest investment rounds so far in 2012 in travel revealed today with news that SilverRail Technologies has secured a $15 million in B Series funding.
The latest investment has a specific purpose, SilverRail says, allowing it to continue adding new rail operators to its train ticket booking system and the “development of cross-border and inter-carrier journey planning”.
News of the round marks the end of a busy 12 months for the US and UK-based company, after winning $5 million in investment in April last year, capturing its first online travel agency partner in Ebookers and unveiling its multi-country booking service in October 2011.
The total amount of money invested in SilverRail now stands at almost $30 million. The company launched in July 2010 [TLabs Showcase – SilverRail Technologies] with an initial warchest of $9.6 million.
Canaan’s involvement is the venture group’s first investment since securing its own $600 million fund.
Companies now tapped into SilverRail include AgentWare, Atriis Technologies, Dolphin Dynamics, Egencia, eGlobalfares, GetThere, KDS, Orbitz for Business and Rearden Commerce.
SilverRail CEO and co-founder, Aaron Gowell, believes passenger rail will “increasingly dominate regional travel”, not least because of what he calls a “perfect storm” of factors coming together.
“200 mph trains replacing regional air travel; rail markets deregulating and creating competition; a 90% cleaner environmental footprint than air travel; and, $200bn a year investment in infrastructure,” he says.
This is, Gowell says, twice the investment currently being made in the commercial air industry.
Kevin May is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.