Direct Ferries, an online ticketing ferry aggregator in the United Kingdom, has received private equity funding. The capital came from Livingbridge, a private equity company, and Beauport Partners, a venture capital firm. These investments will allow Direct Ferries to widen their ferry lines, start operations in the United States and Asia, as well as improve its international ticket distribution capacity.
Direct Ferries was founded in 1999. Companies like Brittany Ferries, Stena Line and P&O Ferries, sell their ferry tickets through Direct Ferries. Last year, the firm’s revenues reached £85 million (more than $122 million). In addition, it had ticket websites operating in different languages which enabled them to cover over 1,995 ferry routes and connect more than 573 ports in 197 countries.
Direct Ferries CEO, Matt Davies, said that Livingbridge is well suited with their business and has an established record in backing up fast-developing online businesses. Their group is also excited about working with the Beauport Partners team. The firm’s goal is to capitalize on investments and the knowledge these teams possess, in order to make their presence felt internationally.
Livingbridge has invested strongly in businesses in the leisure sector. The equity firm previously invested in TravelJigsaw, a car rental company; OnTheBeach, an online travel agent; and Sykes Cottages, a holiday cottages rental firm.
Daniel Smith, Partner at Livingbridge, added that they have a solid track record in partnering with industrious leisure firms, and Direct Ferries fits right in. He added that the firm is a great example of a 21st-century online business that is transforming the sector in which they operate.
Aside from financing Direct Ferries, Beauport Partners which is headed by Greg Wills, will provide the ticketing service with strategic assistance. According to him, Direct Ferries has had excellent success in bringing its business to the number one position in the market.