Busbud, the leading global marketplace for intercity ground travel that helps travelers quickly and easily book bus tickets on over three million routes worldwide, has merged with Betterez, the leading SaaS reservation system and ticketing management platform for ground travel operators, powering over 50 bus operators in a dozen countries around the globe. The merger will enable Busbud to accelerate the digital transformation of the intercity bus industry, better serve its ground travel partners, and empower them to achieve more sales, efficiency and innovation in their operations. Today, Busbud also welcomes Amadeus Ventures on board as a key investor.
Founded in 2011 and based in Toronto, Canada, Betterez pioneered digitalization in the bus and motorcoach industry and built the industry’s most reliable ground travel inventory management system (IMS) available today, featuring mobile ticket sales and scanning, dynamic pricing, ridership reports, optimized on-demand pricing, e-commerce storefronts, ancillary revenue products and much more. Betterez’s industry-leading, multi-tenant architecture allows operators to grow their business, enhance their relationship with customers and run operations and finance more efficiently. These priorities are increasingly coming into focus post-COVID for ground travel operators, along with consumers demanding new ways to buy and a more digital experience.
Busbud, based in Montreal, Canada, is on a mission to revolutionize ground travel by bringing smart, affordable and sustainable mobility to everyone. Recently merging with LATAM intercity bus leader Recorrido earlier this year, and with Betterez on board, Busbud now employs over 150 team members worldwide who are laser-focused on improving intercity ground travel. Busbud continues to benefit from the post-COVID travel recovery, with its net revenue 4X year-over-year and significantly above 2019 levels, as well as travelers switching to more affordable forms of intercity travel given the challenging economic environment.
“As a global travel marketplace, our supply has always been our north star. Having connected into hundreds of systems over the last decade, we understand the key role reservation systems play in helping transport operators digitize their operations. Today, thousands of ground travel operators are still offline or using legacy systems, without the benefits of the full range of features offered by a platform like Betterez,” says Busbud CEO and co-founder, LP Maurice. “Our merger with Betterez will allow us to better serve our partners, bring more operators online and expand our trusted network of partnerships worldwide. We will continue to help operators improve their operations and sales reach, while unlocking new functionality and route coverage for travelers worldwide.”
“We were impressed by the Betterez team’s incredible domain expertise developed over the last decade, having built a robust battle-tested system in the Americas with potential for global expansion. We also believe their market-leading solution is unique as an extensible platform with well-documented APIs and webhooks that allow bus operators and third-party developers to extend, customize and localize the functionality of their core reservation systems based on their needs,” Maurice said.
Betterez founder, Tal Shalit, also reinforced what this announcement means for bus operators worldwide.
“Betterez has always believed in the benefits ground travel operators experience when working with a platform that executes well on both B2B and B2C strategies. Together with Busbud, our team and investors strongly feel that we can accelerate our goal of helping bus operators simplify and improve the passenger journey, increase revenues, and find operational efficiencies across the globe. Our teams, culture alignment, common vision for the future of digital in the bus travel, and daily focus on trying to improve the life of operators and passengers alike, made the decision to join forces a natural one.”
As part of the transaction, Busbud is also pleased to welcome Amadeus Ventures, the corporate venture arm of global travel technology provider Amadeus, as a key investor. With this announcement, Angel Gallego, Executive Vice-President Travel Distribution for Amadeus, now joins Busbud’s board as an observer. As part of the round, several other key investors are also joining Busbud’s shareholder base, most notably JetBlue Ventures, the CEO and co-founder of Porter Airlines, Michael Deluce, and Donald J. Carty, industry-renowned board member and former chairman and CEO of American Airlines’ parent company AMR Corporation.
Suzanna Chiu, Head of Amadeus Ventures, shared her thoughts.
“Since our strategic investment in 2017, we have been proud to support Betterez’s efforts to innovate and digitalize supply in ground travel. We are always eager to work with start-ups that have brilliant ideas across the whole travel spectrum, and coach is no exception. This mode of transport provides an increasingly attractive and relevant travel option in many markets and we’ve gained deeper knowledge in this area through our collaboration with Betterez in past years. We are thrilled to partner with Busbud for this next chapter of growth and look forward to supporting the new team on their journey.”
Angel Gallego, Executive Vice President, Travel Distribution, Amadeus, also expressed confidence on how this merger will drive further innovation in the industry.
“Amadeus is at the heart of the travel ecosystem. We bring together key partners in the travel industry, creating a more connected world, where we put the traveler’s needs front and center. We believe that Busbud joining forces with Betterez offers an innovative proposition for ground travel operators including coach inventory. Betterez makes cloud-based software that simplifies enterprise workflow interactions between employees, customers, partners, and agents, and we look forward to exploring collaboration opportunities with both companies driving further innovation in multimodal travel.”