Busfor Raises $20 Million From Baring Vostok, Elbrus Capital, And Others
Busfor, the company that best connects bus travelers with the tickets they want, has raised $20 million fr om leading private equity funds Baring Vostok and Elbrus Capital. At the same time, InVenture Partners increased its existing investment. The company has raised $25 million to date and is one of the best-funded companies in Europe according to CB Insights.
Founded in 2012, Busfor entered the market because more people were traveling by bus than by air or train despite the technological lim itations associated with online bus ticketing. Adding a new layer of convenience to this dominant method of travel, the company enables carriers and bus stations to easily sell tickets to the customers searching for them online. Operating throughout Russia, Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Thailand, Busfor partners with 5,000 bus companies to serve the growing base of 2 million customers per month.
The proceeds from the investment will be used to strengthen the company’s position and accelerate Busfor’s growth in domestic markets by enhancing marketing initiatives. Busfor also seeks to start geographical expansion and launch its operations in selected new markets under franchise model.
Sales have increased threefold in the last year and the company is on track to constitute 20% of the Russian bus ticket market by 2019. It’s easy to see why Dmitriy Kryukov, managing partner of Elbrus Capital, says, “We believe this market has great potential.” And Elena Ivashentseva, Senior Partner in Baring Vostok Capital Partners, added to it, "The service gains popularity because it successfully transforms bus transportation market making it more comfortable and available for everyone".
“Busfor aims to change people’s perceptions about bus travel,” says Busfor CEO Ilya Ekushevskiy. “By developing distribution channels and attracting new clients, we help carriers fill their buses and increase the quality of their service.” CFO Atrem Altukhov adds that “this new investment allows Busfor to bolster its already-strong position in the domestic market and lend new momentum to its international expansion.”
Anton Inshutin, managing partner of Inventure Partners, says his fund increased its share in the company because “it has become a leader in domestic and international transportation markets, using its brand to radically change the popular conception of bus transportation. We will employ our network capacity and experience to help Busfor to expand in all directions.”