Munich-based FlixMobility, best known in Europe for its tech friendly bus service network, FlixBus and also train service FlixTrain made its debut in 2013 and just now the German transport service has picked up a record $650 million (nearly £460 million) Series G funding, a mix of equity and debt financing, at a valuation of more than $3 billion (nearly £2.1 million).
The investment round was led by new U.S. investor Canyon Partners along with participation from existing investors General Atlantic, Permira, TCV, HV Capital, BlackRock, Baillie Gifford and SilverLake.
Founded by Jochen Engert, Daniel Krauss, and André Schwämmlein, FlixBus is a blend of tech-startup, e-commerce, and long-distance transportation. Back in 2019, FlixMobility attracted €500 million (nearly £430 million) funding, a record for a German startup at that time.
UK: Second biggest network in 2021
With the latest investment, FlixBus aims to expand in the UK offering its second biggest network in the country in 2021. Andreas Schorling, Managing Director FlixBus UK: “We believe it will be a great year for domestic travel. In 2021, FlixBus will be offering the second biggest network across the country and is on a clear path to become the largest UK player by 2025. The restart of our operation has been very successful, and we expect millions of travelers already this year.”
Besides its expansion plans for the UK, FlixMobility will use the funds to grow in key markets in Europe including France, Portugal, Turkey and Eastern Europe, and the United States. Additionally, the company is already planning to expand into new markets following a pandemic-related break. It will also invest in its FlixTrain services in Germany and Sweden.
“The recent financing is a strong sign for the future and for our vision to provide sustainable mobility with FlixBus and FlixTrain to people all over the world,” said Jochen Engert, founder and CEO of FlixMobility. “With the closed financing, we are well positioned for future international growth and expansion plans with FlixTrain and FlixBus.”
“We are now switching from defense to offense. Our clear goal is to become the market leader in all markets in which we are present. This also applies to new markets such as the UK and Portugal or the USA, where we are currently still number 2 or 3,” says André Schwämmlein, founder and CEO of FlixMobility. “We want to make green, affordable mobility accessible to as many people as possible, the United States in particular offers immense potential for this. We see the U.S. as our largest market in the future.”
Growth amidst pandemic
FlixMobility has managed the pandemic and came out strong last year. This is evident with the expansion plan that it worked out last year. After the first wave in spring 2020, the mobility provider launched its first international routes to the Baltic countries and began building national networks in the UK and Portugal.
FlixTrain in the UK
Besides the FlixBus network, which operates in 36 countries, the scaleup is also operating long-distance trains under the brand name FlixTrain, since 2018. Currently, FlixTrain connections run throughout Germany. In line with the European Year of Rail, FlixTrain launched the first green trains in Sweden in May 2021.
The fact that FlixMobility has managed the pandemic and emerged strong is evident by its expansion after the first wave in spring 2020. Last year, the company was quick to adapt to the rising demand, ramping up its business instantly and launching its first domestic routes in the UK in July 2020.