Rocket’s Bus Travel Platform KlickBus Launches in Germany Ahead of ITB

By David Knight |

With the world’s largest tourism trade fair, the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) Berlin, just around the corner, it’s no surprise to see some movement in the travel market. And it’s also no surprise to see Rocket Internet climb aboard the integrated travel search market, one which has seen several successful German entries recently in the form of GoEuro and Waymate.

To that end, Rocket – the Samwer brothers’ startup production line – has launched its online bus portal KlickBus in Germany. It has partnered up with bus companies including ADAC Postbus, Flixbus and to offer an all-in-one service to find and book the quickest and cheapest connections.

Despite Germany’s excellent rail and air connections, buses are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative thanks to their low cost and a recent liberalisation of the market. The emergence of a number of different bus companies has led Rocket to identifying the space as the ideal one in which to launch a travel service, although its claim in a release that bus travel is “more environmentally friendly compared to the train, plane and rideshare opportunities” sounds slightly disingenuous (disregarding, perhaps, the rideshare).

KickBus was first launched last year in Brazil, followed by Mexico earlier in 2014. The German version boasts over 120 bus providers and 5,100 journeys across the country each week, especially to and from mid-sized cities and economically stagnant areas. Users can search by date, price and location of departure and arrival. There is also information about facilities such as air conditioning, catering and luggage allowances.

Felix Hartz, country manager at KlickBus, said: “Since the liberalisation of the German bus market over a year ago, several long distant bus providers have now been entering the market. With KlickBus, travelers have now an ideal overview over the constantly growing amount of long distant bus offers. Our price comparison portal enables customers to find the most suitable offers in only a few simple clicks. We offer our customers the same transparency and simplicity they already know from popular plane and hotel booking websites. This is not only beneficial for the travelers, but also for the bus providers as we redirect customers to their websites as well.”

KlickBus will be looking to catch up swiftly with GoEuro, a multi-mode travel platform that can count Deutsche Bahn and Eurolines among its partners, and Waymate, a travel comparison website. Both are based in Berlin and launched last spring.