European multi-modal travel planning platform GoEuro is adding another transport option to its “compare and book” proposition by introducing ferries to the existing mix of trains, planes and buses.
The platform is powered by partnerships with more than 800 regional transport operators.
The initial focus for ferries will be on the Mediterranean, where GoEuro says it has been testing the product for destinations in Italy, including Amalfi-Positano and Naples-Ischia via ferry providers SNAV and Travelmar.
The move will add another string to GoEuro’s multi-modal bow. Albeit it’s a toe-in-the-water for now — with the beta launch only set to cover ferries in Italy and Croatia as its starting point. But GoEuro says it will build on that next year by adding more routes and markets.
Ticket booking for ferry travel can be a confusing and research-intensive process, owing to unfamiliar options and multiple providers of varying sizes plying different routes. Booking options are also not standardized. Add in the vagaries of weather and taking a ferry can feel like a tricky option to consider let alone nail down and book versus more digitally accessible alternatives like buying a plane ticket.
Hence GoEuro reckons there’s “significant opportunity” in the “limited digital booking capabilities” in the ferry market.
Its hope is to become a go-to middleman platform, providing a slicker and less stressful ticket booking experience for consumers, on the one hand, while offering ferry operators a new channel to expand sales and reach travelers who might not otherwise have considered going by ship.
It also says its longer-term aspiration is to connect ferry legs with other parts of a multi-modal journey — to create “true end-to-end booking for consumers,” though there’s clearly a way to go before its platform can claim to offer seamless linking between and across all the various transport types its platform is surfacing.
In another business development, also revealed to TechCrunch today, GoEuro has unveiled a new look for its brand, outing a redesigned logo and a color palette chosen to project calm reassurance to combat travel stress.
There’s also a new suite of anchor illustrations that paint a romantic view of the transport modes its platform sells access to…
It says this new look will be rolled out across Europe over the next month, with the ferry beta launching at the same time.
Another planned update will add more information and clarity around “often confusing travel elements,” such as add-ons, duration and transfers — also intended to de-stress the trip-planning processes by making customers feel better informed and more in control.
Commenting in a statement, Naren Shaam, CEO and founder, said: “The changes we’re announcing today — from an exciting new brand through to new modes of transportation — represent a big moment for GoEuro and a major step towards a more complete experience for our millions of users. We want to make travel booking seamless and provide reassurance, no matter where customers want to go, or how.
“Bringing more modes into one place, with mobile ticketing as default, and a smooth user experience, is much closer to our vision of the future of travel. Our new brand identity is designed to resonate well with our customers, and reaffirm our commitment to making their travel easier.”
In an additional development, GoEuro says it has integrated a portion of flight bookings directly on the platform, rather than requiring users to go — via redirect — to a third-party site to book that leg of their trip. It now has onsite booking for “hundreds” of air carriers, enabling users to compare and buy flights directly too.
The Berlin-based startup recently announced a $150 million funding raise — a month ago — led by Kinnevik AB, Temasek and Hillhouse Capital, bringing the total raised since it was founded in 2012 to close to $300 million.