Montreal-based Sharethebus has rebranded to Bus.com on the heels of a $6.5 million Series A round.
The round is led by Jackson Square Ventures, with participation from BMW i Ventures, Real Ventures, Y Combinator, and others. Bus.com, which targets the charter bus space, provides a platform to arrange group transportation. The Y Combinator alumni company has been a Startupfest $100,000 investment prize winner, and raised a $750,000 seed round from Maple Leaf Angels’ MLA48.
“You know the expression that people use — ‘people don’t change, they just become truer versions of themselves’. The name Sharethebus is very literal, which is good and kind of describes what we do. But it’s literal and people think we are only a rideshare model,” said Kyle Boulay, CEO of Bus.com.
Festival production companies, athlete groups, and students are common groups looking for a convenient way to book bus travel through Bus.com. At the same time, the company provides a platform for charter buses that may not have easily-accessible websites to become more discoverable to customers.
“With decreasing car ownership and increasing emphasis on events and experiences, the need for group transportation is rapidly increasing,” said Josh Breinlinger, managing director of Jackson Square Ventures. “Bus.com is making it more affordable, authentic, and reliable. As a result, they will dramatically increase the market, unlock new use cases, and both riders and transportation companies will thrive.”
The business initially started with a strong focus on music festivals, but companies looking for transporation to retreats and postsecondary institutions in North America become a growing part of its market.
“Better bussing is fundamental to the future of travel,” Boulay said. “Buses are the best way to mobilize entire communities, including music, and sports fans, political rallies, university students. We are enabling and enhancing the bus travel experience.”
With the funding, Bus.com plans to improve on booking technology, rider experience and bus supplier operations.
“Bringing the entire transaction online is what we focused on over the last year, but now we’re trying to make the experience much more social, and we really want to focus on empowering event organizers to make the best decision for their busing needs,” said Dave Lastovskiy, head of marketing at Bus.com “So providing them with all information that just isn’t accessible to them, like which bus owner is the best and which buses are the best. We’re also increasing our commitment to making the experience much better and we’ll be doing that with technology.”
Image via Twitter