Montreal-based Sharethebus, a bus-sharing service platform, has been accepted into Y Combinator’s accelerator program for the winter 2016 cohort.
With the Sharethebus platform, both large event organizers, such as music festivals, and small groups like sports teams can book a bus for travel. Users can either pay for a whole bus, sell tickets to individual passengers, or self organizers can split the cost for the trip.
“Many North Americans don’t think highly of riding a bus or figuring out how to rent one, and while bus companies are working hard to provide the best experience possible, there are tons of obstacles in their way,” said Kyle Boulay, co-founder and CEO of Sharethebus.
Sharethebus’ head of marketing Dave Lastovskiy said that the company got its start from working with major festivals like WayHome and Osheaga. Even after festival season, the company started getting calls from travellers who wanted to imitate the experience of going on a bus ride for a long trip. “These calls happened over and over again for things student clubs, ski trips, and sports teams. We even ran buses to the Baseball Hall of Fame event last summer,” he said, noting that the company is building a full stack technology solution with the potential to modernize the charter bus industry.
The one-year-old startup has moved over 50,000 people across 1,000 bus trips, and has served more than 200 North American cities. While the company is excited to be in the Valley to learn and grow quickly in the startup-dense community, they stressed their commitment to Montreal.
“It’s our HQ. The majority of our team is there. The startup community has been incredibly helpful and we’ve benefited from the closeness of it,” Lastovskiy said. “We definitely wouldn’t be where we are today without everyone there.”