++ Germany’s largest bus start-ups to merge: two German success stories set their sights on Europe ++ First joint press conference to be held on January 9, 2015, in Berlin ++
Berlin and Munich, January 7, 2015 – FlixBus and MeinFernbus become one. Germany’s two largest bus service start-ups plan to pool their strengths to build a pan-European bus network.Over the next few months, Berlin-based MeinFernbus and Munich-based FlixBus will be connecting their national networks to create a comprehensive range of routes. Together with their 160 medium-sized bus partners, both companies aim to take Europe by storm.
Torben Greve, founder of MeinFernbus, said, “MeinFernbus and FlixBus – two German success stories – are now becoming one, which is good news for passengers. We expect that buses will soon be running more frequently, journey times will come down, and tickets will still be the same great value. All thanks to what will be Germany’s largest bus company.”
Jochen Engert, co-founder of FlixBus, said, “The teams in Munich and Berlin complement each other perfectly. MeinFernbus leads the way on the road, whereas FlixBus sets the pace online. We are pooling our strengths to achieve a shared aim and have our sights firmly fixed on Europe.”
While they each bring different strengths to the table, the success of the two start-ups is based on a similar business model: they both combine innovation with the experience and quality of their medium-sized bus partners.
André Schwämmlein, co-founder FlixBus said: “Right from the start, the founders of both companies have aimed for rapid growth, a comprehensive route network, and partners as opposed to subcontractors. Our medium-sized partners can now work with, rather than against, each other.
An investment by global growth investor General Atlantic will enable the newly combined company to expand its network across Europe.
Jörn Nikolay, Head of General Atlantic in Germany said, “Bus travel is a dynamic industry with enormous growth potential in Europe. Since the market opened up in early 2013, bus travel has grown tremendously – and is poised to grow even further. As a growth investor, General Atlantic is supporting a merger between two leading players. In doing so, we are strengthening the equity base of the resulting company and supporting the founders of MeinFernbus and FlixBus in their European expansion efforts.”
Alongside General Atlantic, current FlixBus shareholders Holtzbrinck Ventures and UnternehmerTUM are also providing the new company with financial backing.
At their first joint press conference, which will be held on January 9, 2015, in Berlin, the management teams of MeinFernbus and FlixBus will be giving details about new routes, network expansion, and their strategy for Europe. The new buses for Germany will also be unveiled at the event.
About MFB MeinFernbus GmbH
MeinFernbus GmbH was founded in Berlin in 2011 by Torben Greve and Panya Putsathit. The company considers itself a partner and innovation trigger of SME travel and tourism business in Germany. Both CEOs are experienced travel and transport experts who gained their knowledge in fields such as network planning, sales and distribution, and service while working for established corporations such as Deutsche Bahn AG. With 320 buses serving 241 destinations over 88 routes, MeinFernbus is the market leader in Germany and is able to operate independently of major travel and transportation companies. The company’s first green bus took to the road in April 2012, serving four destinations on a route through southern Germany. At the end of 2013, one year after the lifting of Deutsche Bahn’s monopoly on the industry, Mein Fernbus boasted 40 routes and 135 destinations within Germany. With its slogan of “Go green!,” MeinFernbus has now taken more than 10 million passengers to their destinations. For more information, please visit meinfernbus.de/ueber-uns
FlixBus was founded in Munich in 2011 by Jochen Engert, André Schwämmlein, and Daniel Krauss with the aim of offering a great-value, comfortable, and sustainable alternative for long-distance travel. On February 13, 2013, FlixBus was the first company to operate a route under the new legislation and, by the end of the year, was also the first bus company with a Germany-wide city network. Currently, 240 buses operate on 90 routes, serving 148 destinations in Germany and eight other EU countries. With around 5,000 direct connections a day, FlixBus now offers a comprehensive range of routes and, since the start of 2013, has carried some four million passengers. Thanks to its “excellent value for money,” high levels of comfort, and transparency throughout the booking process, FlixBus came out on top in a study carried out by Stiftung Warentest. Furthermore, FlixBus was named as Best Start-Up 2014 at the Bayerischer Gründerpreis (Bavarian New Business Awards). For more information, please go to www.FlixBus.de/Unternehmen
MeinFernbus and FlixBus – Two German Success Stories
While the companies will be complementing each other with their respective strengths, the concept is to remain the same: right from the beginning, both start-ups have embodied the experience and quality of medium-sized German bus companies. Within the new partnership, the teams from MeinFernbus in Berlin and FlixBus in Munich will be handling network planning, customer service, marketing, ticketing, pricing, and sales – thus establishing the two largest bus networks and two strong, nationwide bus brands. Regional bus partners will be responsible for the day-to-day running of both the routes themselves and a fleet of buses with consistent levels of comfort based on the highest quality and safety standards. Therefore, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit will continue to harmonize with the experience of these two traditional coach companies. Passengers in Germany will benefit from a comfortable, sustainable, and great-value travel alternative and two nationwide networks. The aim is now to merge these two German success stories and firmly establish the new company at European level.
About General Atlantic
General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. General Atlantic combines a collaborative global approach, sector specific expertise, long-term investment horizon and a deep understanding of growth drivers to partner with great management and build exceptional businesses worldwide. Established in 1980, General Atlantic has approximately $20 billion in assets under management and more than 95 investment professionals based in New York, Greenwich, Palo Alto, Sao Paulo, London, Munich, Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Singapore. For more information, please visit www.generalatlantic.com.