Online bus travel booking platform ClickBus has received an additional $10 million funding from Latin America Internet Group, Tengelmann Ventures, Holtzbrinck Ventures and Rocket Internet and as well launched in Turkey and Pakistan, placing ClickBus in seven countries alongside Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Poland and Thailand with further country launches following steadily.
Wih over 180 partner bus companies, offering trips to over 8.000 destinations in 7 countries, ClickBus launched exactly a year ago and in just one year, it 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.”
The funding will allow the firm to grow in the existing markets and advance its technology, especially in the field of M-Commerce with new iOS and Android apps.
“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,” added Martins.
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.
According to ClickBus, 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 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.
But why they are doing this is because of one reason. Fernando Prado, Global co-CEO and co-founder of ClickBus says, “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.”
Just like ClickBus, EasyTaxi a taxi hailing startup also early backed by Rocket Internet which is live in Africa started operations in Latin America before spreading to other emerging markets.