Berlin-based transport platform GoEuro is embarking on a
global expansion strategy to add inventory and users in South America, Asia and
the United States.
As part of that effort, the company is changing its name to
Omio, a name it says it selected in part because the two Os “symbolize the
origin and destination of a journey and at the same time, create a subtle link
to the original brand name.”
CEO and founder Naren Shaam says the question of which of the
three regions will be added first will depend on the sophistication of the
ground transport providers’ existing technology and whether it can be
integrated efficiently. He expects to select the first market and product concept
by early 2020.
In addition to growing outside Europe, Shaam says Omio will deepen
its presence in that continent, including adding service in Portugal, Ireland,
and parts of the Nordic region and Eastern Europe and adding more long-tail
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“For example, the tiny villages connected by regional bus
companies that are not in any sort of global distribution system - we want to
bring simple one-click mobile ticketing experience to all of them,” he says.
Shaam says it will also continue to improve the product’s
ability to return multimodal transportation itineraries in a single
“We do offer it today, but it is a very complex product from
a ticketing system,” he says.
“There’s a lot more innovation we need to do before we can
scale it across the board.”
Shaam says his long-term goal is to create a more natural
search and booking process for consumers, one that is based on their needs
rather than on modes of transport.
“Our guiding belief is that travel planning in the future
will be a completely different experience from today: Instead of searching for
stations and airports, people will search for destinations. There will be no
need to queue to buy a paper ticket, and no need to buy separate tickets for
each stage of the same journey. Transport will be demand-led, by consumers,” he
Founded in 2013, Omio says it has 27 million monthly users,
is fully operational in 15 countries and has product available in 18 languages.
The expansion plans are fueled by a funding round of $150
million that came in October. Less than a month later the platform added ferry
search and booking to the system.
Shaam says, for now, Omio is “very good with our finances,” but
he adds, “If you look at the amount of money that is raised by inner-city transport
companies - ride hailing, bike sharing, car sharing - it’s in the billions. Intercity
transport systems are equally large markets, and the amount of capital raised to
solve that is tiny compared to inner-city. So if you really want to build
global transport in a single product - then there will be more capital coming
in the future.”