When I was in college I traveled across Europe, seeing 13 different countries in two and a half months. Fortunately, we drove across the continent and did not have to deal with much of the complex and confusing transportation system. The only time we spent traveling out of the van was on a ferry from Italy to Greece and back again. With all the small towns and villages scattered across Europe, it was hard enough to find some of them while driving, so I can only imagine how difficult it must be when forced to take public transportation.
That is where GoEuro, a multi-mode travel search engine for Europe that compares and combines air, rail, bus and car rental options, comes in. It wants to streamline the process of traveling within Europe, and it just got a healthy infusion of cash to make that dream a reality.
GoEuro has closed a $4 million seed funding round, the company announced via its blog Monday. The round was led by Battery Ventures and Hasso Plattner Ventures (HPV), and joined by notable industry leaders including Dave Baggett of ITA Software. a provider of solutions for the travel industry, and Jeff Sagansky of Global Eagle Entertainment, a provider of entertainment for the worldwide airline business. This funding is addition to an undisclosed seed round that the company raised in August.
GoEuro will use the money focus on scaling the technology of the site, as well as building up the technology team, Naren Shaam, Founder and CEO of GoEuro, said in an interview with Vatornews. Some of the jobs that are currently available are SEO Manager, Routing Experts, java developers and Web developers.
What the Berlin-based GoEuro wants to do is allow users to search to and from any location, including towns or villages, in order to present the best possible transport combinations based on price, total travel time and convenience. This will eliminate the need for users to visit multiple websites to plan their entire trip.
"GoEuro is attempting to solve a complicated problem," Shaam said. "There are over 7,000 train stations in Germany alone."
The idea behind GoEuro first came Shaam's personal experience of being stranded while trying to travel across Europe. He was in the middle of a three month trip across Europe, trying to make a flight out of Paris, which he missed. He then realized that he had no way to find bookings for any buses or trains that could take him to his destination.
"Europe has a lot of travel operators," he said, "but there is no one source that you can go to book and compare. That is what GoEuro will do."
While there are some other services trying to make travel across Europe simpler, such as Waymate, it is the GoEuro's technology and partnerships that set it apart.
"No other service offers has the same technology to offer all travel options," Shaam said.
The company says that it "has secured agreements with numerous travel partners across Europe and developed proprietary algorithms together with local mapping techniques to provide the customer with increased choice and flexibility for the whole journey planning process."
The majority of the mapping is done in-house, and Shaam could not reveal GoEuro's travel partners at this time.
The technology developed by the company can be applied to any continent, said Shaam. Since Europe is such a big market he "would be happy to conquer it" before moving on to other markets, including South America and Asia, both of which have large bus and train operators.
(Image source: http://missvintagevixen.blogspot.com)