23. January 2014–
Berlin-based travel comparison platform GoEuro today announced a multi-million dollar investment led by Lakestar and including an angel investor from the travel industry.
GoEuro – which allows users to compare the price and journey time of air, rail and bus travel options in a single search – has had a bumper year. The startup launched in May 2013 after announcing $4m in seed funding from Hasso Plattner Ventures and Battery Ventures and has since expanded its service beyond Germany to both the UK and Spain. The startup claims it now serves almost 23,000 locations in these countries. It will use the latest funding round to launch in four more markets by summer 2014 – GoEuro already has a position open on its jobs page for an Italian country manager.
On the funding, GoEuro CEO Naren Shaam said: “The Lakestar team brings to the company a strong background of B2C investment history and know-how including the likes of Airbnb, Spotify, Skype and Klarna. It is a vote of confidence not only for GoEuro but for the multi-mode travel space as a whole. Online travel has traditionally been dominated by websites focused on air, hotel and car rental, but the growing capability of rail and bus operators has opened the door to platforms which compare and combine rail, coach and air travel on one site.”
Although GoEuro has plenty of financial backing, it does find itself in a crowded industry in Europe. In its home town of Berlin the startup faces competition from Waymate, which launched last year and includes car travel, while Italian startup Wanderio also lists the CO2 emissions for each option.
Successfully building these comparison platforms is no easy task, mostly because it requires relationships with large, beaurocratic travel organisations that often don't want to give out proprietary data. It does, however, have the potential to be very lucrative for the startup that manages to edge out its competition – when we talked to him last year, Shaam claimed the online travel market is worth roughly $320bn in Europe.
Image credit: Flickr user Yogesh Mhatre