This Australian startup that lets people bid for seat upgrades has secured an $8 million funding round

Seatfrog, an Australian tech startup which allows passengers to bidding on airplane and rail seat upgrades, has announced a $8 million Series A funding round.

The round was led Octopus Ventures, the London and New York based venture capital firm behind highly successful businesses such as Secret Escapes and Zoopla Property Group. Existing investors, including HOWZAT Partners also participated in the latest funding round.

The company will use the investment to accelerate its growth, with plans to make senior hires across both its London and Sydney offices, as well as expanding product capability.

Luke Hakes, Partner at Octopus Ventures will also be joining the company’s advisory board alongside former Qantas Airlines CEO Simon Hickey and the executive team at HOWZAT Partners.

“We are thrilled to be leading the funding round and to be joining the board of a Seatfrog, which we feel has the opportunity to make a fundamental difference to the way consumers approach the challenges of travelling,” says Hakes.

“Having seen the impact of dynamic revenue management systems within hotels and airlines, we feel there is a very interesting opportunity in applying this approach to the multi-billion dollar train travel industry.

“Seatfrog is exactly the kind of forward-thinking technology with a powerful brand, that we want to invest in. Octopus Ventures looks forward to being part of Seatfrog’s journey and playing a role in supporting the team and taking the business to new heights across many geographies.”

In September last year, Seatfrog launched a world-first with Virgin Trains enabling customers to upgrade right up to 15 minutes before departure from their smartphone.