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Maven invests £650,000 in passenger transfer booking platform Ski-Lifts

A total of £500,000 has been invested by NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and a £150,000 was provided by the Greater Manchester Loan Fund (‘’GMLF’’), also managed by Maven.

The funding will support Ski-Lift’s growth strategy as it expands into new areas, including golf and cruise and ground transport markets. Additionally the new Funding will also support the development of its technology platform, which will facilitate full integration with suppliers, clients and travel partners, as well as offering foreign language translations.

Ski-Lifts is a high growth online booking system for passenger wishing to pre-book transfers between airports, stations, ports and final travel destinations, which matches customer requirements to pre-vetted, well priced and reliable suppliers. The business now offers transfers to over 200 resorts in 14 countries from over 30 airports around Europe and North America, transferring over 70,000 passengers per season. Ski-Lifts supports an impressive number of blue-chip travel customers including Sunweb, TUI and GolfBreaks.

The airport transfer market is estimated to be worth £17.1bn by 2023, driven by the continued expansion of business and leisure travel globally. The sector is growing at around 7% per year and Ski-Lifts is well-positioned to take advantage of this growth.

Managing director, Richard Smith, joined the business in 2007. His determination and drive meant he was quickly promoted to the management team and he has since played a key role in growing Ski-Lifts into the business it is today. Commercial Director, Simon Holmes, joined the board in 2018, bringing his 30-years sales and marketing experience in B2B and B2C environments to the business.

James Darlington, investment manager at Maven, said, “ Ski-Lifts is an established business with exciting plans to deliver an even better user experience through its tech platform. We’re delighted to co-fund this venture with a substantial Equity package from two of Maven’s regional funds, which will help accelerate the growth of the business globally.

Richard Smith, managing director of Ski-Lifts, said “This is a very exciting moment for Ski-Lifts and the investment from Maven opens up a wealth of new opportunities that were previously just beyond our reach. The growth capital will allow us to invest in new talent joining our team, make some significant improvements to our tech platform, develop new markets and obviously continue to refine our service to the benefit of our existing customers and suppliers.

Sue Barnard, senior manager at British Business Bank, also commented: “Historically, funding options for businesses in the North have been scarce, which has stifled growth and innovation in the region. NPIF is making real strides in reducing the regional funding gap between the North and the South, providing a variety of finance solutions that help businesses in the North realise their growth ambitions.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank. 

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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