The equity round is led by the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF) and Investissement Québec (IQ). New investors also include Export Development Canada (EDC), BDC Capital and Singapore-based K3 Ventures, along with current investors Inovia, Plaza Ventures, and Claridge increasing their investment.
MONTREAL, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – Busbud , the online marketplace that enables global travelers to shop for and book intercity bus tickets on over 2.3 million bus routes worldwide, today announced the close of a $15M CAD (US$11.5M) Series C equity funding. This latest round brings total fundraising to date to $40M CAD (US$30M). The Series C funds will be used to fuel technology development, further grow the team and accelerate geographic expansion.
“We believe that Busbud’s leadership team possesses the skills and experience to execute on their vision to continue to grow the leading global bus travel aggregator and booking provider,” George Rossolatos, CEO of CBGF explains. “We are proud to partner with LP, and have Busbud as our first investment in Quebec and hope to do more in the province”.
“Busbud continues on its impressive growth path, and Investissement Québec is proud to join forces with a group of experienced investors to give the company the flexibility it needs to accelerate that growth. Despite the unstable climate facing the tourist transport industry, Busbud’s dynamic team is favourably positioned to continue developing its technology and diversifying its global markets,” stated Guy LeBlanc, President and CEO of Investissement Québec.
“This is a fantastic development for the company. This is obviously a challenging macro environment for the travel industry, but this fundraising shows the resilience of the leadership team and the continued high-growth potential of the business. Busbud’s engineering team has been heads down building an exciting pipeline of new product features in the past 5 months. We’ve backed the company since day one, and we are thrilled for this next chapter”, says Magaly Charbonneau, Partner at Inovia, one of Canada’s leading VC funds.
As part of the transaction, Hai Tran-Viet, Senior Investor at CBGF will join Busbud’s board of directors, bringing 20 years of experience in private equity. The board also includes Erik Blachford, former CEO of Expedia and Venture Partner at TCV as well as Philippe Vimard, former CTO/COO of publicly-listed eDreams/ODIGEO Travel Group and current CTO of Doctolib, the No. 1 booking platform for doctors in Europe.
Busbud continues on its impressive growth path. With revenue growth at 110% Y/Y pre-COVID, the company has also diversified its activities in 80 countries, which will allow continued growth even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With a mix of international and local travellers using Busbud’s mobile website and app, Busbud is well positioned to benefit from the rise of in-country travel as travel restrictions gradually ease up around the world until a fuller recovery.
“We continue full speed ahead on our quest to make sense of this huge and fragmented intercity bus travel market, which boasts more passengers than air travel, while being widely overlooked by the travel industry. We’ve built deep expertise integrating with bus back-end systems around the world. Working together with our bus industry partners, we believe we can keep translating this expertise into a delightful experience for bus travellers worldwide”, added CEO & Co-founder LP Maurice.
Earlier this year, Busbud recruited two seasoned executives to its leadership team: Andrew Boch as COO, who was previously COO at Hopper and Boston based LevelUp (acquired by GrubHub), and Richard Cohene as CMO, who was at Facebook and brings to Busbud 15 years of experience in digital marketing.
Busbud : Busbud is an online marketplace that enables global travelers to shop for and book intercity bus tickets on over 2.3 million bus routes worldwide. Available in 17 languages, the company’s convenient and secure booking website and app offer the ability to search, compare and buy tickets from over 3,900 bus companies in 16,000 cities across 80+ countries, supporting transactions in 30 currencies. Co-founded in 2011 by longtime friends LP Maurice (CEO), Michael Gradek (CTO) and Frédéric Thouin (CPO), the company currently has 50 employees and is based in Montreal, Quebec. It is backed by investors including the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF), Investissement Québec (IQ), Inovia, OMERS Ventures, Real Ventures, Revolution Ventures, Plaza Ventures, FJ Labs, Export Development Canada (EDC), Claridge, Teralys Capital, K3 Ventures and BDC Capital, as well as angel investors who have served as key executives at Expedia, Google, Facebook, Airbnb and TripAdvisor. Experience travel with Busbud at https://www.busbud.com.
Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF): Launched in 2018, the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF) provides long-term, patient, minority capital to ambitious entrepreneurs to fund growth and expansion of mid-market businesses in Canada with investments between $3 and $20 million. An evergreen investment fund with capital commitments of $545 million from Canadian financial institutions, CBGF is committed to long-term partnerships with the companies it invests in. As part of its mission to drive growth, CBGF connects its partner businesses to its broad network of experienced business leaders, sector experts and international relationships to help them achieve their full potential. For more information: www.cbgf.com and @CBGFinvestments.
Investissement Québec (IQ): Investissement Québec’s mission is to play an active role in Québec’s economic development by spurring business innovation, entrepreneurship and business acquisitions, as well as growth in investment and exports. Operating in all the province’s administrative regions, the Corporation supports the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes with investments and customized financial solutions. It also assists businesses by providing consulting services and other support measures, including technological assistance available from Investissement Québec – CRIQ. In addition, through Investissement Québec International, the Corporation also prospects for talent and foreign investment and assists businesses with export activities.
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