The Berlin-based European travel booking aggregator GoEuro has successfully closed a $150 million investment round that reports say value the company at between $900 and $1 billion though this information has not been made public. The cash injection was led by Temasek, a $265 billion Singapore government-owned investment vehicle and Swedish investors Kinnevik, who specialise in digital consumer brands. The third major investor involved is Hillhouse Capital, Asia-focused VC that has invested in Chinese online giants such as Baidu, Tencent and JD.com as well as the likes of Airbnb and Uber.
GoEuro is a ‘multi-modal transport booking platform’ labelled as a TravelTech company. It can be compared to aggregator sites such as the flight booking platform Skyscanner or UK rail and coach travel booking platform Trainline. However, GoEuro’s service aggregates all of the most commonly used public and international transport modes in one portal, meaning that European travellers can book multi-transport mode trips in one place.
GoEuro chief executive Naren Shaam has said that the capital will be employed to fund adding to the current range of journey options and expansion beyond its current European confines as well as providing a war chest to fund any suitable M&A opportunities that might be identified to aid expansion either at home or abroad. At the moment the GoEuro platform links routes offered by around 800 transport operators.
Like all good start-ups GoEuro has a back story that centres around Shaam embarking upon a 14-country European trip back in 2010 having recently graduated from Harvard Business School. His experience led him to the conclusion that while Europe had extensive rail and coach travel networks, it was often difficult, especially as a foreigner, to find and join up reliable information and book online. GoEuro allows users to not only conveniently build journeys that combine air, bus, rail and ferry trips but also book tickets for all the legs and in one place. Travellers can also make easy comparisons when air, coach and rail transport to a particular destination are all options.
In a phone interview reported by Bloomberg, Kinnevek CEO Georgi Ganev was glowing in his appraisal of the potential his group’s investment hold, saying of GoEuro that the aggregator “has the potential of reshaping the travel industry”.
Analysts believe that GoEuro will disrupt travel in a similar way to how Booking.com and TripAdvisor have done so for temporary accommodation by unifying hotel and private rentals options within one portal.