MONTREAL, Feb. 22, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - Busbud, the online marketplace that enables global travellers to book intercity bus tickets on over three million bus routes worldwide, today announced the close of US$11M ($14M CAD) in equity funding. The round is co-led by WIND Ventures, the strategic venture arm of COPEC, one of the leading mobility and energy companies in Latin America, along with follow-on investors Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF), Export Development Canada (EDC) and K3 Ventures, who all first invested in Busbud's previous round. This latest round brings total fundraising to date to ~US$44M ($55M CA).
Busbud continues on its impressive growth path even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with revenue growth in December 2021 at 280% year over year, driven by the launch of its multi-modal offering (travellers can notably now book on Busbud train tickets from Amtrak in the US, VIA Rail in Canada and operators such as Eurostar, Renfe and Trenitalia in Europe, as well as ridesharing and shuttle options), enhanced coverage on 2.3M routes in 84 countries this year including on 70K routes in Latin America, and investments in its customer experience including the launch of updated mobile apps. With a mix of local and international travellers accessing its global supply in 80+ countries, Busbud is well positioned to benefit from the further gradual recovery of the travel and transport sectors globally.
"Busbud is poised to accelerate the digitization of bus travel in the largest bus riding region in the world, Latin America", said Brian Walsh, Head of WIND Ventures. "We look forward to working with LP and the team to build on the company's success in the Latin American region over the past five years in efficiently reaching travellers online and becoming their go-to app for bus tickets."
As part of its further expansion into Latin America, Busbud has joined forces with Recorrido, a leading intercity bus marketplace based in Santiago, Chile. Recorrido was founded in 2013 by co-founders Tilmann Alexander Heygden, Julian Valentin Deutschle, Lennart Sönke Ruff and Simon Josef Narli, four college friends from Germany who moved to Chile to tackle the opportunity of bringing innovation to the intercity bus industry in Chile. Recorrido transported 4M passengers in 2021 for a total of $USD 60M of GMV and has developed a suite of digital tools for bus operators.
As part of the transaction, Recorrido shareholders, including local LATAM investors IGneous, Mountain Chile, Wayra Chile (the investment arm of Spanish telecom leader Telefónica), European funds Mountain Partners and Mercurius Private Equity, as well as all Recorrido co-founders will become shareholders of Busbud. Julian Valentin Deutschle, Recorrido's CFO and co-founder, will also join the Busbud's board of directors as an observer.
"We are thrilled to join forces with Busbud on our mission to scale our commercial activities across Latin America and reinvent long-distance bus travel to provide smart and affordable mobility for everyone," added Tilmann Alexander Heydgen, Chief Business Development Officer and co-founder of Recorrido. "We believe there is a natural complementary fit between Busbud's global platform and vision and our local team, market knowledge and relationships. We have been commercial partners with Busbud since 2016, highly value our partnership with their team and think this fusion will further unlock enormous value and innovation for our transport operators".
The investment round also marked follow-on investments by previous Busbud investors CBGF and EDC. "Busbud's leadership team has shown tremendous resilience and determination in the past year, continuing to execute on its vision of becoming the global bus travel aggregator and booking provider of choice for this massive and underserved market, working hand in hand with its trusted network of 4,000+ intercity mobility partners worldwide and re-confirming its leading position on the global stage", highlights George Rossolatos, CEO of CBGF. "With a focus on digitization and an impressive global expansion strategy, Busbud is poised for growth", seconded Carl Burlock, Executive Vice-President and Chief Business Officer at EDC. "EDC is pleased to support the company as it joins forces with Recorrido to expand its services to the LATAM region. We look forward to seeing the positive impact Busbud has on the transportation sector in LATAM and beyond."
"We could not be more excited about the partnership with Recorrido," said CEO & co-founder LP Maurice."We were attracted on day one to their team of world-class founders - who similarly to Busbud founded their enterprise after a trip to South America. We were impressed by the great execution in the past few years on their local market strategy and building a strong and well-liked brand. We believe Busbud can add value through its suite of tools, supply and deep expertise, while gaining from their experience, market knowledge and local partnerships. There is much to learn from both sides! Latin America is a significant region for Busbud in terms of revenue, notably due to the leadership of our General Manager for LATAM Pedro Alfaro in the past six years, and we are thrilled today to deepen our commitment to the region."
Busbud is an online marketplace that enables global travellers to book intercity bus tickets on over 3 million bus routes worldwide. Available in 17 languages, the company's convenient and secure booking website and app offer the ability to search, compare and buy tickets from over 3,900 bus companies in 16,000 cities across 80+ countries, supporting transactions in 30 currencies. Co-founded in 2011 by longtime friends LP Maurice (CEO), Michael Gradek (CTO) and Frédéric Thouin (CPO), the company currently has 50 employees and is based in Montreal, Quebec. It is backed by investors including the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF), Investissement Québec (IQ), Wind Ventures, Inovia, OMERS Ventures, Real Ventures, Revolution Ventures, Plaza Ventures, FJ Labs, Export Development Canada (EDC), Claridge, Teralys Capital, K3 Ventures and BDC Capital, as well as angel investors who have served as key executives at Expedia, Google, Facebook, Airbnb and TripAdvisor. Experience travel with Busbud at https://www.busbud.com.
Recorrido: Founded in 2013, Recorrido is reinventing long-distance bus travel to provide smart and affordable mobility for everyone in Latin America. Operating on a B2B2C model, Recorrido provides a comparison platform to travelers that offers convenience and transparency. The company's comparison platform assists travelers to find, compare and buy bus tickets with convenience and transparency, thereby providing users with smart and affordable mobility and bus companies to increase profitability and efficiency. Recorrido was co-founded by four college friends from Germany after a back-packing trip through the southern cone of Latin America. The business quickly became the market and technology leader for the Chilean bus industry.
WIND Ventures: Based in San Francisco, WIND Ventures is the strategic venture capital arm of Copec, one of the leading energy companies in Latin America and consistently voted as one of the most valued brands in the region. WIND Ventures leverages Copec's significant resources to accelerate growth, primarily within Latin America, for startups and scaleups across the world within the new mobility, energy and retail sectors. Visit windventures.vc or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
CBGF: Launched in 2018, the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF) provides long-term, patient, minority capital to ambitious entrepreneurs to fund growth and expansion of mid-market businesses in Canada with investments between $3 and $20 million. An evergreen investment fund with capital commitments of $545 million from Canadian financial institutions, CBGF is committed to long-term partnerships with the companies it invests in. As part of its mission to drive growth, CBGF connects its partner businesses to its broad network of experienced business leaders, sector experts and international relationships to help them achieve their full potential. For more information: www.cbgf.com and @CBGFinvestments.
EDC: Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian companies of all sizes succeed on the world stage. As international risk experts, we equip Canadian companies with the tools they need – the trade knowledge, financing solutions, equity, insurance, and connections – to grow their business with confidence. Underlying all our support is a commitment to sustainable and responsible business. For more information and to learn how we can help your company, call us at 1-800-229-0575 or visit www.edc.ca.
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