A Greek startup called Ferryhopper has raised a €2.6 million seed funding round to try and become the #1 European ferry ticket booking engine in 2-3 years. Leading the round is Bulgarian VC firm LAUNCHub Ventures, joined by Metavallon VC and easyGroup, who had already backed the company in a €600,000 seed round last year.
Founded in 2017, Ferryhopper basically makes it easy for people to book ferry tickets online; it now covers more than 250 destinations in 10 countries as its team has grown to about 30 people today.
As is usually the case, the fresh cash will be used for the further development of the startup's services and infrastructure, and to expand internationally - Ferryhopper aims to integrate new destinations and ferry operators in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe during the next year.
In a statement, investor Myrto Papathanou from Metavallon VC talks about how the company has dealt with the global coronavirus pandemic, not deterring the venture capital firms doing this new round:
"Regardless of the specific circumstances relating to COVID, our investment thesis remains unchanged: the ferry bookings market at a European and global level remains underserved, the transition to digital is expedited and Ferryhopper’s product provides a credible, seamless user experience. The way the team managed the COVID crisis is also exemplary: they changed their operations overnight, they went through all stress test scenarios, they completed their mobile app development, enhanced their content marketing and switched their business model to local tourism for 2020."
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Chairman and founder of easyGroup, adds that domestic ferry traffic to the Greek islands "is practically back to normal" now, boding well for Ferryhopper's future.