Launchpad - An interview with Seatfrog Sales & Partnerships Manager, Matthew Vass
When were you launched?
- Seatfrog launched its first trial with Virgin Trains East Coast (now LNER) Sept 2017 and following its huge success set up offices in March 2018.
Where are you based?
How many people are working for the company?
Sum up what your company/product does in one sentence
- Seatfrog is a rail upgrade app that lets standard class passengers bid for a First Class upgrade in real-time or simply ‘buy it now’ and get a new boarding pass instantly on their phone.
Why is it unique?
- Seatfrog is the only app that allows rail passengers to upgrade to First Class on their mobile device in real-time.
What problem does it solve?
- 70% of First Class seats are unfilled on average in the UK. At the same time, there is a substantial issue with over-crowding in standard class. Seatfrog solves problems both for train passengers and train operating companies.
- First and foremost, on the consumer side, Seatfrog helps passengers save on First Class. On average, passengers save 53% on First Class when upgrading via Seatfrog. Because we are filling seats that otherwise go unused, Seatfrog also optimises the load distribution on trains, improving the customer experience both in First Class and standard. Additionally, whilst upgrading used to be manual and time-consuming, Seatfrog makes it convenient and instantaneous to upgrade via our app.
What platforms is it available on/can integrate with?
- Our free app is available for anyone to download providing access to 80% of UK first-class services. We have direct integrations with the train operators booing platforms which we can replicate into virtually any system.
What markets is it available in?
- Seatfrog is currently available to anyone in the UK and can be used by anyone who travels by train with one of our partners. One of our main focus areas is corporate travel and enabling business travellers who aren't allowed to book first class to benefit from our services.
Which companies are using it already?
- Our partners include LNER, Avanti West Coast, GWR and Cross Country. We've also had loads of positive feedback from business travellers on our social media feeds enjoying their improved journeys.
What do travel managers like about it?
- Our solution can help corporate clients better balance cost, compliance controls, employee wellbeing and environmental credentials with the changing needs of the business traveller.
- Seatfrog offers a brilliant perk to include within a travel policy that can help attract and retain employees and improve productivity within their workforce. Part of the upgrade cost can even be offset by the complimentary drinks, meals & snacks that may have otherwise been expensed.
Why do travellers like it?
- Travelling for work can be stressful and uncomfortable. Small seats and overcrowded carriages make it difficult to be focussed and productive in standard class. Upgrading with Seatfrog offers:
- Wider seats and more legroom
- More space to work increasing productivity
- Complimentary drinks, meals & snacks
- Quieter and more relaxing environment
What are your growth plans?
- Having secured partnerships with the major UK train operators, we're now in talks with all the major operators in Europe and the US. We're also launching additional features alongside our seat upgrades that aim to further improve the experience of train travel.
Why are you exhibiting in the Launchpad?
- We've built an amazing platform that people love to use. The Launchpad will allow us to showcase the benefits of incorporating Seatfrog into a travel policy and foster partnerships with Travel Management Companies, Ticket Providers, Employee Perk and Travel Benefit Programmes to make our service available to as many business travellers as possible.