The power of the Venture Builder

raised in last funding round

raised in last funding round

growth for two consecutive years

growth for two consecutive years


The Journey

The move to London, decision to leave their current jobs and commit full-time to Zinc gave Tatseng and his co-founders the energy to throw everything behind digging into the problem area in depth to understand user’s issues and find the best solution.

A defining moment in RideTandem’s journey came in Rochdale, near Manchester, at one of the first events organised by Zinc – a three day residential. The residential is designed for the Founders to bond as a cohort and to immerse themselves in the mission space in a non-London centric environment.

During the trip, Tatseng spoke to a group of unemployed people. These people revealed that the biggest challenge holding them back from undertaking full-time employment was that all of the available jobs were a 30mins drive away – and they had no way of getting to them.

The team quickly discovered that this wasn’t just a problem in Rochdale. Public transport has been steadily declining over the last few decades, especially in cities with populations between 10,000 and 100,000 people, of which there are more than 900 in the UK. In the UK alone, 20% of people don’t own a car, a figure that is considerably worse within lower-socioeconomic groups. Tatseng and his co-founders realised the massive opportunity for commercial, social and environmental impact in this space.

tandem image

The power of the Zinc network – with over 100 Visiting Fellows and a wider ecosystem of over 15,000 people – has also been invaluable to the venture’s progress. Zinc provided an initial introduction to their lead investor, 1818 Venture Capital, as well as an introduction to the UK Department of Transport that led to grant funding.

The Venture

RideTandem’s solution is a marketplace which connects existing local taxi, minibus, and coach providers to business and government clients in order to  provide transport for workers and students. On the supply side they provide 24/7 customer care, to turn existing vehicles into shared shuttles using RideTandem technology. On the demand side, they team up with employers, employment agencies, and universities to help market the service and subsidise the cost.

A key design for businesses built during the Venture Builder is that they must be mission-led. Tatseng explained that this focus has positively driven the development of RideTandem in multiple ways. Crucially, it has influenced the investment profile: with a disproportionate number of RideTandem’s investment coming from impact investors, such as Ascension Venture’s Fair by Design Fund and the Low-Carbon Innovation Fund.

Zinc’s Venture Builder process has also directed the design of the product – with the support of Zinc R&D team and individual venture partners, all ventures in Zinc’s portfolio are encouraged to be relentlessly both mission and user-focused.

In 2022, RideTandem have raised 1.76 million and are on track to raise Series A investment by the start of 2023/4 financial year. They have had two consecutive years of 10x growth and are regularly in touch with the Zinc team who continue to support them as a portfolio company.


“The wider Zinc cohort of like-minded Founders was one of the important parts of the process: the wealth of knowledge from others in the cohort and the desire to constantly report one’s progress to them drives accountability, as well as generating and maintaining momentum.”

Tatseng Chiam - COO, RideTandem + Zinc Founder