Travel planner and booking platform GoEuro has taken in another big cash injection, announcing a $70 million funding round led by Silver Lake Kraftwerk and Valley VC fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Also today it’s breaking out usage metrics for the first time, announcing 10 million monthly users — “a very large majority” of whom it says are using the platform via a mobile device.
The startup only announced a $45M Series B in December. And the new round is being described as an expansion round but co-founder Naren Shaam confirms it is not in fact an expansion of the prior Series B, describing it as the “next round” and confirming it’s a fully closed round in its own right. The Berlin-based startup has raised a total of $145M since being founded back in 2012.
It’s not entirely clear why GoEuro isn’t labeling this round as its Series C — perhaps “expansion” refers more to the intended business function of the financing. GoEuro has now confirmed the round is in fact its Series C — so mystery solved. It said today that the investment will be used to ramp up its coverage by adding more transport providers to the platform, so expanding its platform is the name of the game here.
GoEuro’s overall mission is to simplify longer distance European travel. Trips that might span multiple countries and encompass different modes of transport, with the platform supporting train, plane and bus route options — aiming to serve users with suggestions for the fastest and cheapest transport options to take some of the strain out of travel planning.
Right now GoEuro’s platform is being fed by 500 transport partners, spanning 12 European countries (although it does also support worldwide air travel routes).
Ticket booking is available for some routes and some transport options — currently for all rail in Spain, France, BeNeLux, Italy; and for buses in Spain. But that’s one area it’s clearly working to build out with the additional funding.
“We are adding ticket booking to three more markets near term, with German rail coming online next,” Shaam tells TechCrunch.
GoEuro’s grand vision is to support comprehensive transport options and ticket booking for every town and city across the region, gunning to become the go-to travel booking platform for the whole of Europe. But there are other European startups with a similar goal — such as the likes of fromAtoB, Waymate, Wanderio and (exclusively rail focused) Loco2 — while further afield there’s also long time player Rome2Rio — so it can’t afford to take the slow, scenic route here. Hence maintaining momentum on the funding side.
Flush with fresh VC cash, Shaam says GoEuro is “hopeful” of adding two more countries in Q4 this year, expanding its footprint from 12 to 14. After that he says the aim is to expand to the rest of Europe “as fast as possible”.
“Coverage for us is both adding new markets and growing coverage within each existing markets, cause our goal is to connect every location on the map, so there are many smaller partners we are adding in each existing market to make our platform the most comprehensive,” he notes.
Shaam claims GoEuro has “one of the largest sources of inventory in Europe” at this point, but concedes there are lots more gaps to fill if it is to achieve its vision of connecting “every single location on the map with a click of a button” — noting: “We want to increase this to rest of Europe and that’s hundreds more.”
Commenting in a supporting statement, Bryce Lee, managing director of Silver Lake Kraftwerk, added: “In just three years, GoEuro has built a truly differentiated technology platform that allows true multi-modal comparison of rail, coach and air across Europe. We believe GoEuro has a clear opportunity to be the leading travel platform in this nascent market that today is still predominantly offline.”
Discussing the investors GoEuro is adding with its Series C, Shaam lauded what he described as the “calibre” of experience here — flagging Kleiner’s investment in “large consumer products” such as Airbnb and Uber, and Silver Lake’s investment in travel firm Sabre and ecommerce giant Alibaba, adding: “I’m such a strong believer that Europe can build many multi-billion dollar businesses, and we need capital to build.”
This post was updated with additional clarification about the expansion funding round