Montreal-based start-up Busbud has raised $1 million in first-time venture capital, in a round led by iNovia Capital and Real Ventures, with participation from Peter Kern, managing partner of NYC-based equity firm InterMedia Partners Inc., and Joe Poulin, CEO of travel start-up Luxury Retreats.
Busbud’s website and free iOS app offers users access to intercity bus schedules and ticket purchase information for 4,379 cities in 66 countries. The app is available in 10 languages and supports 15 currencies.
While for the most part, actual ticket purchase involves the user being sent to each bus company’s website, Busbud is working on being able to make ticket purchases in-app, a feature which will no doubt be helped along by the new injection of capital.
“Our team has been working very hard to create a great product that solves a real problem for travelers, and we couldn’t dream of a better mix of experience and expertise to take Busbud to the next level,” says Busbud co-founder and CEO Louis-Philippe Maurice.
Maurice is a Harvard MBA who founded the company in 2011 with Microsoft Bing veteran Michael Gradek and chief scientist Frederic Thouin.
According to a report from DePaul University, intercity bus travel grew by 7.5% during 2012. And bus travel is growing internationally. In Mexico, where passenger rail service has all but disappeared, the bus remains the primary travel option for most.
“Busbud is the first service to offer travelers comprehensive access to worldwide bus schedules and ticketing. In a context where the bus industry is largely fragmented, this provides for huge opportunity,” says iNovia’s Chris Arsenault.
iNovia’s David Nault and Real Ventures’ Jean-Sébastian Cournoyer are joining the board as part of the deal. Chris Arsenault, managing partner of iNovia Capital, and Sylvain Langis, founder of Orléans Express, will serve on Busbud’s advisory board.