A couple of years ago there was an ambitious startup called Zoombu which concentrated on aggregating transport solution ‘across platforms’ – in other words linking up trains, buses and airline time tables and allowing users to book. Indeed, the search engine – which launched in 2008 – was in much use during the ‘Ash Cloud’ incident in Europe in 2010 as people frantically tried to find over-land routes across the continent. But the heavy-lifting involved in aggregating all that data, combined with a difficult investment environment at the time meant that Zoombu’s team took the ‘acquihire’ route, exiting to Skyscanner in 2011.
Now a new player emerges today, attempting to do almost exactly the same thing – but this time GoEuro, based in Berlin, will have a $4 million seed round to do it with. The round was led by Battery Ventures and Hasso Plattner Ventures (HPV), and joined by notable industry leaders including Dave Baggett (ITA Software – a leading provider of innovative solutions for the travel industry) and Jeff Sagansky (Global Eagle Entertainment – largest provider of entertainment for worldwide airline business).
The new multi-mode travel search platform basically plans to use this funding to build out on their current minimum viable product, created by a team of ten so far and lead by Naren Shaam, Founder and CEO.
GoEuro users – you can sign up for early access here – will be able to will search to and from any location, including towns or villages, showing transport combinations based on price, total travel time and convenience. This is of particular interest in Europe where you can – for instance – get an entire single bus ride from London to Warsaw, if you want.
The company says it has secured agreements with “numerous” travel partners across Europe and developed proprietary algorithms together with local mapping techniques.
Battery has investments in Duetto, Gogobot, HotelTonight, ITA Software (acquired by Google) and Sabre according to Itzik Parnafes, general partner, hence this move.
Yaron Valler, managing partner, HPV, says aggregating travels options across Europe could provide “a huge opportunity for transport operators, in particular bus and train, to capitalize on this efficient method of travel planning and significantly increase advance ticket sales.”