German based Flix Mobility well known in Europe for its tech friendly transport services prominent among which are FlixBus and its train service, FlixTrain was founded in 2013 has recently raised a record $650 million (nearly £460 million) Series G funding, a mix of equity and debt financing, at a valuation of more than $3 billion (nearly £2.1 billion).
The funding round was spearheaded by new U.S. investor Canyon Partners along with participation from existing investors General Atlantic, Permira, TCV, HV Capital, BlackRock, Baillie Gifford and SilverLake.
Founded by Jochen Engert, Daniel Krauss, and André Schwämmlein, FlixBus is a blend of tech-startup, e-commerce, and long-distance transportation. Back in 2019, FlixMobility attracted €500 million (nearly £430 million) funding, a record for a German startup at that time.
Armed with this new investment, FlixBus aims to expand into the UK market and capture a substantial slice of the extremely lucrative market share. Andreas Schorling, Managing Director FlixBus UK said: “We believe it will be a great year for domestic travel. In 2021, FlixBus will be offering the second biggest network across the country and is on a clear path to become the largest UK player by 2025. The restart of our operation has been very successful, and we expect millions of travelers already this year.”
It will also greatly expand in Europe as well as other parts of the world like the United States. It will expand in key markets in Europe including France, Portugal, Turkey and Eastern Europe, and the United States. Additionally, the company is already planning to expand into new markets following a pandemic-related break. It will also invest in its FlixTrain services in Germany and Sweden.
“The recent financing is a strong sign for the future and for our vision to provide sustainable mobility with FlixBus and FlixTrain to people all over the world,” said Jochen Engert, founder and CEO of FlixMobility. “With the closed financing, we are well positioned for future international growth and expansion plans with FlixTrain and FlixBus.”
“We are now switching from defense to offense. Our clear goal is to become the market leader in all markets in which we are present. This also applies to new markets such as the UK and Portugal or the USA, where we are currently still number 2 or 3,” says André Schwämmlein, founder and CEO of FlixMobility. “We want to make green, affordable mobility accessible to as many people as possible, the United States in particular offers immense potential for this. We see the U.S. as our largest market in the future.”
It weathered the storm during the pandemic last year and has proven to be very resilient. It launched its first routes into the Baltic countries and built global networks in the UK and Portugal.
The FlixBus network operates in 36 countries around the world. Currently, FlixTrain connections run throughout Germany. In line with the European Year of Rail, FlixTrain brought into the market the first green trains in Sweden in May 2021.
The fact that FlixMobility has effectively managed the pandemic and emerged strong is evident by its expansion after the first wave in spring 2020. Last year, the company was quick to adapt to the rising demand, ramping up its business instantly and launching its first domestic routes in the UK in July 2020.
Its green buses and long distance trains adhere to the highest standards of safety and a great deal of regard for the environment. It also offers a convenient and comfortable alternative to private transportation. There is the digitization of traditional bus travel technological advancements like our e-ticketing system, the FlixBus-App, free Wi-Fi on board, GPS Live Tracking and an automated Delay-Management System, FlixBus continues to revolutionize the bus travel industry. Through smart network planning and dynamic price management, we are able to provide our customers with the best offers possible. Our FlixBus network relies on close partnerships with small and medium-sized enterprises and often family-owned businesses – our regional bus partners – who are responsible for the green FlixBus fleet. In 2015, FlixBus began expanding internationally with long-distance networks in France, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and Croatia, as well as cross-border regular services to Norway, Spain and England. Today, passengers from around the world can immensely benefit from Europe’s largest long-distance bus service as well as new intermodal travel options. An international team of 3,000 employees in Munich, Berlin and international offices in Europe and the US – as well as thousands of our partners’ bus drivers and train operators – stand behind the green mobility provider.
Millions of passengers have used the services of FlixBus – a whooping 62 million in 2019 alone. It has 2500 destinations and it has 400,000 city connections on a daily basis with the buses leaving every 30 minutes interval.
André Schwämmlein is in charge of international expansion and operations. As far back as in 2009, he was brainstorming on the bountiful opportunities that a deregulated transportation market could bring. He also doubles as the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. He cut his teeth at the Boston Consulting Group in Munich. A great advocate of alternative mobility, he doesn’t own a personal car and cycles to work.
Jochen Engert is in charge of Corporate Development and Human Resources. He has a broad based financial education in Germany and Canada which has given him a head start in the business world. He cut his teeth in Porsche Consulting, Hovarth & Partners Management Consultants while he was a student as well as Boston Consulting Group which has in no miniscule measure contributed to his global outlook of life. He is multilingual and converses fluently in German, English and French.
Daniel Krauss is in charge of IT, Mobile and Software Development. He cut his business teeth in world’s largest software maker, Microsoft where he was a technical account manager for close to three years as well as Marquardt GmbH, IFS AB and Siemens AG.
FlixBus only owns one bus and does not employ drivers. They use almost the same model as Uber whereby they have created a brand and invited local partners to provide day to day services to travelers. FlixBus’ main role involves marketing its services, acquiring permits, pricing, customer service, network planning, and quality management. The company and local partners split each ticket price using a 3:7 ratio.