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Travel Technology

Bus Ticket Marketplace Busbud Makes 2nd Acquisition of 2022

3 months ago

Busbud, an online marketplace for bus and other ground transport tickets, is now offering more software services to operators in that industry following a company acquisition. 

Montreal-based Busbud has acquired Toronto-based Betterez, according to LP Maurice, CEO and co-founder of Busbud. 

The deal was made with a mix of cash and equity, Maurice said. As part of that deal, the group that made undisclosed investments into Betterez in 2017 and 2018 are now investors in Busbud. 

That means Amadeus Ventures is now a “key investor” in Busbud, along with JetBlue Ventures, Porter Airlines CEO Michael Deluce, and Donald Carty, former CEO and chairman of AMR Corporation. Angel Gallego, executive vice president of travel distribution for Amadeus, is joining the Busbud board as an observer. 

“As part of that transaction, they became shareholders into Busbud — pretty significant shareholders,” Maurice said. 

Further details about the deal price and terms were not disclosed.

The Busbud marketplace allows consumers to compare and buy tickets for intercity busses, trains, and other forms of ground transportation from nearly 4,000 companies in 16,000 cities across more than 80 countries.

Betterez is a reservations and ticketing management software platform, enabling mobile ticket sales and more for ground travel operators. 

Betterez is used by about 50 of the 4,000 bus companies that sell tickets through Busbud, Maurice said. 

“We could take what we think is a pretty good piece of software, a reservation system, and really introduce it to either folks that don’t have any — which is actually surprisingly often — and also people who have legacy systems but may not have all the range of functionality that Betterez offers,” Maurice said. “And they can become a lot more innovative and drive a lot more sales.” 

Busbud acquired Recorrido, a Chile-based intercity bus marketplace, earlier this year to support  expansion plans in Latin America. Busbud also raised $11 million earlier this year, bringing its total to $44 million raised. 

The company now employs more than 150 people worldwide and is hiring. 

Busbud has quadrupled net revenue year-over-year in 2022 and is now “significantly above” 2019 levels, Maurice said. 

He attributes much of that growth to increased demand for travel post-pandemic. And he is confident Busbud will continue doing well even as some consumers have less disposable income.  

“We’re actually seeing a lift in people taking the bus and not driving,” Maurice said. “Most of them are actually leaving their car at home because of gas prices.” 

Travel Booking

Europe’s Multi-Modal Travel Platform Omio Raises $80 Million

8 months ago

Multi-modal transportation platform Omio has raised $80 million, with plans to expand via new partnerships, acquisitions and further growth into the U.S. after Europe-wide expansion.

Omio launched in North America in 2020, but was then hit by the pandemic. However revenue has recovered to more than double pre-pandemic levels, and according to reports founder and CEO Naren Shaam said the U.S. market had “bounced back.”

The Berlin-based travel app, which integrates more than 1,000 transportation providers across trains, buses, ferries, cars, airport transfers as well as flights, may also be able to tap into increased demand for sustainable travel (it claims that one in four customers change their bookings from flights to trains), as well as travel’s holy grail of the connected trip.

Earlier this year Omio helped build a new international website for the UK’s London North Eastern Railway, to make train travel easier to book for overseas customers. The rail company counts 10 countries as its global market, including China, Japan, Spain, South Korea and Italy. The new search and booking engine lets customers in those countries purchase tickets in their own language and currency.

In March it added a partnership with CheckMyBus, a global intercity bus search engine, while it also has collaborations in place with Kayak, Huawei and Portugal’s state-owned railway company.

Omio’s Series E funding came from new investors Lazard Asset Management and Stack Capital Group. Existing investors NEA, Temasek and funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management also contributed.

In 2020 Omio raised $100 million to fund the purchase of other travel companies, after buying Australia-based Rome2Rio in 2019.

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