Finding quality listings for flights or rail through 3rd-party services has long been possible, but German startup Distribusion has launched to taken on a sector that it believes has been neglected: intercity bus travel. Essentially, it may be possible to find a ticket through one operator, but problems may arise when trying to switch to a different one during the journey. Distribusion has developed a platform that it hopes will alleviate frustration that arises from this issue and others.
As opposed to focusing on end-users, Distribusion has taken aim at 3rd parties with a platform that allows them to offer provide their customers with cross-provider tickets. The startup further provides access to live prices, schedules, and service features from various bus operators. At the moment, the company says that provide 35 European bus operators with their API and provide content for 15 travel websites. The startup generates revenue by taking a commission on each transaction processed. They also offer several data-based services, as well as IT solutions as SaaS.
A representative from the company tells me that they were inspired to build this service based on their experience developing a FahrtenFuchs.de, a platform that they created after the German long-distance travel market was liberalized in early 2013 in order to provide a way to search intercity bus connections within Europe. They quickly realized that the platform was not quite working out as hoped, as bus operators were not able to connect with travel agencies (online and offline), meta-searches, and tour operators. Rather than add yet another search service to the mix, they decided to create this connection between bus operators and sales platforms.
Distribusion has opted to remain quiet about the identity of their angel investors as they are currently negotiated for a new funding round, which would follow the seven-figure investment that they recently obtained. The company tells me that their aims include establishing a firm foothold within the majority of European intercity bus markets over the next few years, while also expanding across the ocean to North and South America, as well as Asia.