29. May 2013–
GoEuro, the Berlin-based startup offering users multi-pronged travel option comparison, has today launched in open beta.
The company faces competition from fellow Berlin startup, Waymate, which launched last month. Both bring together air, bus, rail and car transport options in the one site, allowing travellers to compare options by total time, route and price. At the moment, GoEuro only has comprehensive data for Germany and the UK, but it is working on improving the service for other European countries. The company claims that travellers can already search to and from “any location in Europe, including small towns and villages”.
GoEuro has received ample financing to launch its service, it secured a $4m seed funding round three months ago from Battery Ventures and Hasso Plattner Ventures, along with other members from the travel industry. The startup has managed to make significant strides since being founded in 2012 – it's already partnered up with Deutsche Bahn, Rail Easy, Eurolines and Rentalcars.com along with multiple airline companies. It's working on bringing in more partners over the course of the next few months – no simple task considering the massive amounts of data that needs to be compiled, plus convincing transport providers to come on board in the first place.
CEO of GoEuro, Naren Shaam, said: “Our goal is to provide the best possible travel planning experience, as well as the most competitive fares, without any additional fees to our users. A key part of this is to become a leader in a new category of online travel that goes beyond the dispersed offerings focused on airlines and airports as the start and end points of the journey."
GoEuro is free for users, making revenue through ticket sales – it gets a cut for referring customers to providers' websites. Waymate, on the other hand, lets users book directly through them – which, cofounder Maxim Nohroudi told us, they are doing to avoid discrepancies behind the price they find and the actual price on providers' websites.
For now, GoEuro will be concentrating on Europe, but could be expanding to other continents in the future. Cracking the online travel sphere may be a complex task, but there's no doubt that whoever manages it will be cornering a very lucrative market.
Image credit: Flickr user Jsome1
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