ClickBus, the leading global online booking platform for bus travels, has received an additional USD10 million funding from Latin America Internet Group, Tengelmann Ventures, Holtzbrinck Ventures and Rocket Internet. The funding round coincides with the one-year anniversary and the launches in Turkey and Pakistan, placing ClickBus in seven countries alongside Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Poland and Thailand. Further country expansions will follow shortly.
Fernando Prado, Global co-CEO and co-founder of ClickBus: “The company’s objective is to empower the bus travelling industry across the globe by migrating to the online world an industry used to offline sales. By allowing passengers to compare and buy bus tickets online, ClickBus is going to follow the airline example and eventually transition the bulk of sales to the internet.”
Currently, the company has over 180 partner bus companies, offering trips to over 8.000 destinations in 7 countries, exactly a year after launch in August 2013. In one year, ClickBus has helped more than 400.000 people with their bus travel needs globally.
Cesário Martins, Global co-CEO and co-founder of ClickBus: “With over 10 million visits globally and expectation of having a million tickets sold by the end of the year, we had an extremely successful first year. Now we are very proud to have secured this new round of funding. This will allow us to continue our growth trajectory in existing markets and advance our technology, especially in the field of M-Commerce, where we will launch apps for iOS and Android shortly. The new round of funding will also allow us to tackle further markets, which are mostly in the offline realm. Our goal is to move into exactly these markets to enforce the shift from offline to online in the bus industry.”
The challenges in each market are diverse: In Brazil, bus travel represents 120 million passengers annually and less than 5% of bus tickets are sold over the internet. In Mexico, lack of infrastructure combined with a large population encourages the use of road transport. In Germany, the market liberalization that happened in January 2013 allows the entry of new players in the sector. In Poland, the majority of the population chooses to use bus travel within the country. In Thailand, strong tourism attracts over 27 million visitors all year round. Turkey was chosen because of the developed and big scale market along with high internet penetration. Pakistan was a clear choice due to soaring airline ticket prices and for not having any other company in the market offering this service to the population of 180 million.
How it works
The ClickBus booking portal is a free of charge platform and is accessible in only a few steps: The customer can select the route and dates, compare prices from different bus companies and pick the one that suits their needs. ClickBus offers several different relevant payment methods in every country its in. Within only a few minutes, the customer receives a confirmation e-mail for the desired booking with their ticket voucher attached.