Travel management platform secures seven-figure-funding

Andrew Steele, Chris Thompson, Huw Sparkes and Simon Grieve

A Birmingham-based travel management platform called ‘You. Smart. Thing.’ (YST) has secured £1.2m in funding from the West Midlands Co-Investment Fund (WMCO).

This regional fund, managed by Midven, along with angel investors including Giles Fearnley (former MD at First Bus), Will Phillipson (former COO at Citymapper), Jeremy Acklam from Venture Innovators, and green energy company Ecotricity, supported the investment.

‘You. Smart. Thing.’ focuses on sustainable travel solutions for destinations, venues, and live events.

It offers personalised low-carbon travel plans and an easy-to-use travel assistant interface that suggests alternative travel routes and shows the carbon footprint of each option.

YST captures data on travel demand, modal choice, routes, and third-party emissions, helping venues improve logistics, security management, and marketing communications, while also reducing the carbon footprint of visitor travel.

For visitors, YST offers customised routes and eco-friendly transportation options to specific venues, nudging them towards net-zero travel.

The investment will help YST enhance its eco-algorithm, make key hires in marketing, finance, product management, and software engineering, and expand its sales and marketing team for international growth and 24/7 customer support.

By empowering guests and venues to make greener decisions, YST contributes to the UK live events industry’s goal of reaching net zero by 2050. Venues using YST have seen an average 30% decrease in CO2 emissions.

In addition to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, YST has worked with clients like Coventry City of Culture Trust, Transport for Greater Manchester, and the Rugby League World Cup.

Aanisah Begg, head of structuring at West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), said, “I led on the establishment of West Midlands Co-Investment Fund because SMEs are the lifeblood of our regional economy and it’s clear we must improve their access to finance to support their growth journey.

“These local businesses will help continue our region’s recovery and I cannot wait to see them succeed. I’m delighted that ‘You. Smart. Thing.’ has become yet another business to benefit from this new fund, and I’m confident this investment will help the business reach more clients and build on the success it has already achieved.”