The ground transportation market is highly fragmented and often subject to bespoke, legacy technology when it comes to supplier schedules and booking systems. Consequently, planning and booking scheduled journeys online is often either simply not possible, or a confusing and time-consuming experience for travellers.
Globally, over 100 million ground transportation tickets are still purchased offline every day, reflecting the digitalisation gap in the industry.
Berlin-based B2B ground transportation marketplace Distribusion has raised €30 million to change this. The round was led by Lightrock, with participation from Creandum and Northzone. The cash injection will be used for its global expansion beyond the currently served European and Latin American markets, and to boost its platform further.
The German B2B ground transportation marketplace offers an array of operators from 70+ countries with instant access to a network of online travel agents, meta search websites, and other mobility platforms.
The company’s standardisation layer enables online retailers to sell tickets for any operator by connecting to one single API, without any individual contracts or technical effort. Consumers benefit from the resulting ability to compare and purchase tickets on the websites and apps that they know and trust.
During the last two years, the company extended its operations to the Latin American market. According to the startup, it has achieved an impressive 10x growth in passenger numbers and plans to connect 100 million passengers per year by the end of 2024.
Thomas Doering, CEO at Distribusion, said: “Ground transportation often gets little attention despite having a market size larger than air passenger transport. It is the only accessible long-distance transport option for 2/3 of the world’s population. Yet, access from search to purchase and ticketing is often cumbersome and offline in most cases. With the new funding we can connect additional carriers and new geographies, digitalizing the experience. We will bring more products to customers’ favourite online channels and help promote the most sustainable mode of transport.”
Christopher Steinau, partner at Lightrock, added: “Distribusion is building the missing part of infrastructure that is crucial to elevate the ground transportation industry. It is also playing an essential role in driving the adoption of mass ground transportation, one of the most environmentally friendly forms of transport, and hereby helping to reduce CO2 emissions in travel.”