FlixBus: The German bus travel company that is changing the European market.
The FlixBus success story is truly one of the inspirational ones. FlixBus is a German brand that offers intercity bus services in Europe, North America, and Brazil. It is owned by the mobility platform Flix SE, which operates Flixtrain, Flixcar, and Greyhound Lines. As of June 2022, Flizbus was valued at US $3 billion.
FlixBus was founded by four young entrepreneurs, Daniel Krauss, Jochen Engert, and André Schwämmlein, The founders of FlixBus set out to revolutionize the traditional bus travel experience, and they have since grown the company into one of the largest intercity bus providers in the world.
Flixbus either operates buses or, in many cases, just handles marketing, pricing, and customer service for a commission on behalf of bus operators on the list of FlixBus bus partners.
In the little more than ten years since it first entered the German market, FlixBus has experienced exponential growth and added services for international rail and road travel.
From Munich to Manhattan and even further beyond, FlixBus has been continuously growing since its day-one operations, and it doesn’t plan to rest anytime soon. Take a look at how this humble startup paved its own road to worldwide expansion.
Ignition of the idea
Before FlixBus was founded, the three founders were working for different companies in the mobility and transportation industries. Daniel Krauss worked as a strategy consultant, Jochen Engert was a manager at a transportation company, and André Schwämmlein was working in the advertising industry.
Bus service was just one of the many ideas on the list when FlixBus founders were trying to come up with a plan that could work for years to come. All three were childhood friends, and from the beginning, they shared similar interests. Their collective experiences led them to identify a gap in the traveling market for a new, modern, and customer-focused bus service that could compete with established train and plane travel options.
The trio also wanted people to make greener or more environmentally friendly choices when traveling over long distances, and thus, the idea for environmentally friendly bus service was formalized.
Factors behind the Success of FlixBus
In 2011, the founders created FlixBus with the mission to provide comfortable and affordable travel options for everyone. They began by partnering with small and independent bus companies and slowly integrating them into a unified network. This opened numerous doors for FlixBus, as it allowed it to offer a wider range of routes and destinations while maintaining a high level of quality and consistency across the network.
We all know that traveling a long distance can be very messy and filled with boredom. But FlixBus fixed this problem by offering free Wi-Fi on board and other onboard entertainment systems that, for sure, promise to enhance the customer experience. The founders were very clever, as they also implemented a dynamic pricing model that allowed for more affordable travel during off-peak times. This pricing model, along with other cost-saving measures, has enabled FlixBus to offer some of the best fares in the market.
FlixBus’s expansion has been rapid, and it now operates in more than 30 countries across Europe, North America, and Brazil. In 2015, FlixBus went on and acquired its largest competitor, MeinFernbus, which helped further solidify its position as the leading bus provider in Germany. The acquisition was a strategic move that allowed FlixBus to consolidate its position and benefit from the economies of scale that come with being the market leader.
In addition to its acquisition of MeinFernbus, FlixBus has also made several strategic investments in other transportation-related companies. In 2018, the company launched its first intercity bus service in the United States, with routes connecting major cities on the West Coast.
The founders of FlixBus have played an instrumental role in the company’s success. Daniel Krauss, who serves as the company’s CEO, has been a driving force behind FlixBus’s expansion and innovation. He has been recognized for his leadership and was named one of the “30 Under 30” in the category of consumer technology. Engert, who is the company’s COO, has been focused on optimizing the company’s operations and implementing new technologies to improve efficiency.
What’s next for FlixBus?
In 2022, FlixMobility reported securing Germany’s biggest tech funding round by raising around $560 million to support further growth. FlixBus intends to expand its service into Asia and Latin America.
Flixbus’ success story continues to inspire entrepreneurs all over the world. It is one of the best examples of how three business-minded folks captured the opportunity to serve road travelers who are tired of traveling long distances without any entertainment. FlixBus was able to offer customers the best road transportation service and win their hearts all over the world thanks to its dynamic price planning and smart network management.