Why 2017 was our most loco year yet!

Why 2017 was our most loco year yet!

19 December 2017

This year was the craziest in our history and we're now more excited than ever about our future plans to bring low-cost rail to the masses.

The last 12 months has been the most intense period of change in our history. For a company that we started from scratch 6 years ago, that’s saying something! Here are just some of the highlights: 

🙀  In January we entered into negotiations with our long-term partner, Voyages-SNCF, who were interested in buying Loco2. As a fiercely independent company, this was no small decision, even in the early stages.

⚡  In February we released an iPad version of our iOS application, which joined our iPhone and Android apps to make it easier to book trains on the go.

🏠  In March we moved into a larger office (again!), as the support team embarked on our biggest summer of sales. Behind the scenes, our tech team radically overhauled our hosting infrastructure to ensure that Loco2 is fit for some serious scaling. 

🚀   We also delivered a ton of new features including self-refunds, bike reservations in France, mobile tickets on lots of new routes, and a tool that reveals the cheapest fares on our journey guides!  

By the middle of the summer, we were ready to announce by the far the biggest news of the year - Loco2’s acquisition. It was a time of mixed emotions for us as founders, but after much soul-searching (and let’s be honest, regular trips to therapy), we were ready to share the news.

Despite being acquired by a larger company, we remain passionate about the values that run through Loco2’s DNA, and we’re glad that our new owners are backing our vision with the investment we need to meet challenges head-on. 

Since the sale, the changes have come thick and fast. Most of them have been positive but there are some growing pains, too!

The biggest change was the arrival of our new CEO, Dave Ashton. He’s a travel industry veteran who’s fluent in entrepreneurship and French (handy, considering who bought us). Dave is tasked with balancing our ambitious plans with the reality that, in his own words, “nine women can't make a baby in a month”. 

Dave brought much-needed energy to the team and reinvigorated us from our post-sale burnout. Over to him:

I took a roundabout way to get here: from Silicon Valley to Paris, Madrid and now London. I came to Loco2 because the company had been built the right way - with a total focus on product and customer support - and because our new shareholders are committed to providing resources to hire passionate people. We’ve had our heads down since the acquisition, doing just that, and can’t wait to tell you more about our plans soon.

Lots of other newbies have arrived in the last six months, some of whom joined us at the first ever team retreat (where many of us met for the first time in the flesh). 

Previous part-timers have gone full-time and there are new faces in every part of the business. The increase of over 50% means we’re now much better equipped to crack on with our ambitions for 2018. 

The Loco2 Support team go for a paddle

Last week, we made Loco2 available in several new languages - Spanish, German and Italian. But the keen-eyed among you will note one glaring omission: French. 

In the spirit of honesty, we have to admit that this has been a painful aspect of our relationship with our new owners, who have vetoed a French-language version for now, much to our disappointment. We eagerly await the blessing of our maison mère…. 

As the year draws to its end, we’re entering a new phase of Loco2’s life. We now have the resources to dream big but are also exposed to corporate forces that have the potential to slow us down. So we’re striving to remain agile, and most importantly to keep our customers at the heart of what we do. If you’ve read this far, thank you, and please do let us know what you want to see from us in 2018.

P.S. Some of you already told us to get rid of the annoying Airbnb pop-up when you launch a search. We agree. It's gone. Merry Christmas!

P.P.S. We are hiring for lots of new people to expand the team even further so if you're interested, check out our careers page!

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