by Forest Baskett, PhD and Rick YangAug 27, 2014
Two decades ago, planning a trip involved calling a travel agent and trusting them to book what you wanted. Today, anyone can go online and be inundated with options for flights, hotels, vacation deals, and more. Democratization of data through the Web means consumers have access to a practically limitless amount of information. This puts considerable power in the hands of individuals, but it also leads to a complex data optimization problem for consumers to match up the right set of variables across many different service providers. Many successful companies have been built to streamline that user experience.
This problem is magnified in Europe, where the widespread availability and variety of transit options can overwhelm the consumer. The available options of rail, bus, air and car provide great coverage but can make it even harder to find the best way to get from point A to point B. The task of simplifying this is a tall one, and it creates a profound market need.
Today we are excited to announce our Series A investment in GoEuro, the leading multi-mode travel platform across Europe. We join a distinguished set of early investors in the company to support an amazing team already well on their way to tackling this €200B-plus opportunity.
GoEuro operates at massive scale to deliver real-time data across seven countries, 20,510 railway stations, 10,011 bus stations, and 207 airports; and these numbers continue to grow every day. They do this through a complex and robust technology platform that normalizes, optimizes, and packages the data to deliver a clean and simple user experience for travelers. It’s the easiest way to book travel across multiple transit options in a single unified UI.
In addition, as we’ve come to know the company, the team’s focus on culture and diversity shines through. Every employee is welcomed into the company with equity ownership (which is uncommon in Germany) and free German classes every Friday. GoEuro has also taken its mission to build a global travel company to heart, with a team that hails from 23 different countries, comprising roughly 40% women. It definitely made for an exciting environment at the office during the World Cup!
GoEuro is another bright example in the NEA portfolio that the world has become a smaller, more connected place. We here at NEA are delighted to be partnering with Naren, Malte, and the rest of the team at GoEuro as they continue on their journey to build the next great travel company.