GoEuro, a Berlin startup that offers travel comparison services across a range of different transport modes, has picked up an undefined multi-million dollar investment from Lakestar and a bunch of other investors, including American Express’s former global business travel chief, Charles Petrucelli.
I’ve covered GoEuro a couple of times before – along with other startups such as Waymate, it’s tackling a horrendously difficult problem. It’s not easy to mix and match data from sources ranging from airlines to train and bus station schedules; you have to build relationships with all the transport companies, who rightly see their data as a valuable asset.
As Lakestar partner Klaus Hommels said in a statement:
“When I first met the GoEuro team, I was amazed at their ability to build relationships with large organisations that historically have not given out proprietary information. By building these relationships, they are breaking down a huge barrier to entry and making themselves the market leader by quite a distance.”
GoEuro, which picked up $4 million in a seed round last March, is certainly well on its way when it comes to tackling the fragmented European market. The company already covers the UK, Germany and Spain, taking in 150 airports, 12,900 rail stations and 8,500 bus stations, thanks to agreements with the likes of National Express and Renfe.
Now it’s coming out of beta and hoping to cover 7 European markets by the summer.
“7 is a safe number – I hope we can do much more,” CEO Naren Shaam told me. “We’re working with many different countries now, some that are still in commercial negotiations, some with deep technical integration.”
Shaam was keen to point out that, of the almost 23,000 locations that GoEuro already covers, customers have searched for more than 10,000 – this may suggest users are using the service for fairly fine-grained local travel search, not just for the big, obvious hubs.
So far, so good. The one thing I’d bear in mind, though, is that Google is revamping its travel price comparison service, at least in Europe. If that service stays for flights only, as may well be the case, then GoEuro is safe for now. If Google has grander designs though – don’t forget it’s already been working with the likes of Deutsche Bahn to add train timetable information to Google Maps – well, watch this space.