Expanding Capabilities and Market Reach

Montréal-based ground travel booking platform, Busbud, has made a strategic acquisition of Ratality, a South African software provider for ground travel operators, for an undisclosed amount. This move is set to enhance Busbud's platform by integrating Ratality’s advanced demand forecasting, dynamic pricing, and fleet management features.

Enhancing B2B Offerings

The acquisition builds on an existing partnership between Busbud and Ratality. With this acquisition, Busbud aims to expand its reach in Africa and bolster its B2B software suite with Ratality’s comprehensive solutions, including fleet and driver management. According to LP Maurice, co-founder and CEO of Busbud, "This is a very special partnership that will add a key missing piece to our growing B2B offering. It just really made sense to bring Ratality’s team of revenue management experts on board and integrate these features further into our core B2B platform."

Busbud's Journey and Growth

Founded in 2011 by LP Maurice, Michael Gradek, and Frédéric Thouin, Busbud has established itself as a leading platform for searching, comparing, and booking intercity bus tickets. The platform supports more than three million bus routes worldwide, collaborating with over 4,000 bus companies across 16,000 cities in more than 80 countries, and offers services in 17 languages.

Busbud’s B2B business suite, used by over 350 partners, includes an inventory management system for route scheduling, a white-label ecommerce platform for ticket sales, and now, a revenue management system courtesy of the Ratality acquisition.

Venture Backing and Expansion

Busbud has attracted significant venture capital throughout its growth. In 2014, the company raised a $9-million Series A round led by Omers Ventures. This was followed by a $14-million Series B round in 2018, with participation from former Expedia CEO Erik Blachford. In September 2020, Busbud raised $15 million in Series C funding despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the company to lay off a third of its staff and pivot to other types of ground transportation like trains, ridesharing, and shuttles.

Active Acquisition Strategy

Busbud has actively pursued acquisitions to expand its market presence and enhance its service offerings. In February 2022, it acquired Chile-based intercity bus marketplace Recorrido, alongside a $14 million follow-on equity funding round to support its expansion in Latin America. Later that year, Toronto-based Betterez, a reservation and ticketing management platform, was also acquired to strengthen Busbud's B2B offerings.

The most recent acquisition prior to Ratality was of Brazilian bus booking marketplace Buson in March, aimed at furthering its South American footprint. Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Maurice noted that it was the company's largest M&A transaction to date, completed with a mix of cash and equity.