Why we invested in Seatfrog

Jennifer Ren
4 min readMay 2


In today’s fast-paced world, time is of the essence, especially for the modern-day traveller. While train travel can be a relaxing experience, it can also be stressful, especially if your plans change at the last minute. Fortunately, Seatfrog has a solution to this problem. Founded in 2018 by Iain Griffin and Dirk Stewart, Seatfrog is a SaaS platform that offers an innovative way to upgrade, switch, and purchase train tickets in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

In a sector that has historically lacked innovation, Seatfrog’s mission is to build a better future for rail and its passengers by providing a consumer-facing app that makes travelling by train more convenient and enjoyable. The Seatfrog app allows passengers to bid for first-class upgrades in real-time, offering a more comfortable journey at a great discount while also benefitting train operators who can fill otherwise unsold seats.

“Our mission is to be the platform of choice for rail, helping people fall in love with taking the train again, and enabling operators to run more profitable networks full of happier, less stressed passengers — it’s long overdue”

Iain Griffin, Seatfrog CEO

The Seatfrog app has 4.8 star reviews, 14,000 reviews and has already saved passengers over £43m

A win-win product users love

Seatfrog’s intuitive interface is a standout feature, making it easy to navigate and bid for upgrades. With over 2,400 destinations available, customers can purchase and swap train tickets through the Seatfrog app, which provides notifications of available upgrades, as well as information about the train journey, such as departure times and seat availability. Passengers can bid for upgrades on the day of travel, up until the train departs — this means that even last-minute travellers can enjoy the benefits of first-class travel.

Since its launch, Seatfrog has helped passengers save over £43m on upgrades, while also increasing new revenue for operators by over 300%. With all of the UK operators under exclusive contracts, Seatfrog boasts a 100% renewal rate and is constantly expanding its portfolio with new products and features to generate long-term defensibility.

A growth strategy set for scale

As Seatfrog enters an exciting new phase, the company is scaling its offerings with two groundbreaking products. The first is a ticket sales feature, enabling passengers to purchase tickets directly through the app. The second is the much-anticipated “Train Swap” solution, offering customers unparalleled flexibility and convenience by enabling them to seamlessly change trains at a fixed price in seconds. Launching with the Department for Transport, Trainswap will reduce ticket changing costs by an impressive 85% and boost customer satisfaction scores.

Since inception, Seatfrog has experienced impressive organic growth. Over 70% of new customers are acquired through word of mouth, which has led to a monthly revenue growth rate of over 40%. Exclusive partnerships with all major train operators cover more than 3 billion journeys and its European expansion includes a recent partnership with Italian operator Trenitalia, further cementing Seatfrog’s commitment to enhance the travel experience for millions of passengers.

Funded by the DfT, Train Swap will allow passengers to switch to any train, any time, in just two taps

Paving the way for greener travel

Not only is Seatfrog revolutionising the rail industry, it’s leading the way towards a more sustainable future for transportation. By incentivising passengers to upgrade their travel experience and reducing the number of empty seats on trains, Seatfrog is a win-win for happier customers and operators, whilst also making significant strides towards a greener and more sustainable future for all.

It’s all about the people

Seatfrog’s management team is nothing short of impressive, led by co-founders Iain Griffin and Dirk Stewart who have challenged the status quo since day one. Iain, a UK Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, brings seasoned strategic skills with deep technology sales and product experience. Iain previously led the management team at VML, where he took the digital agency into the world’s top five in just three years. Meanwhile, Dirk brings invaluable technical leadership to Seatfrog with over 15 years of experience in senior engineering roles. Dirk’s expertise lies in building scalable technology platforms globally, and he heads up all technology at Seatfrog. Together, Iain and Dirk form a formidable partnership, with their complimentary leadership skill sets driving Seatfrog towards greater success and innovation.

Co-founders Dirk Stewart (left) and Iain Griffin (right)

In addition, Seatfrog’s management boasts Julie Arrowsmith, Head of Consumer Product, bringing extensive experience from Booking.com, and John Ritchie as Head of Enterprise, who previously led rail product at Skyscanner. Supported by a board and network of world-class advisors, including former CEOs of Qantas, Kayak and Trenitalia, it’s no wonder Seatfrog continues to attract top talent. Bringing together their collective experience with a proven track record and wealth of industry expertise, this management team is poised to scale Seatfrog to new heights.

We are delighted to join Iain and Dirk on their journey to build Seatfrog into a game-changer for transportation, co-investing alongside Octopus Ventures and Pratuera Ventures. As Seatfrog continues to transform the rail industry, it’s clear it is well on its way to achieving its mission of building a better future for rail and its passengers.

Welcome to the Pembroke family, Seatfrog!