The entry of platforms such as Blablacar, Uber or FlixBus has put traditional transport businesses in check. In addition to the taxi, another business affected by the disruptive entry of these technology companies is the corporate bus for the transport of companies and educational centers. With the aim of “innovating from within the sector, before someone else does it from outside”, Eva Romagosa (Barcelona, 1978) and her master’s colleagues Rui Stoffel and Alex Canals founded the flexible corporate transport technology company five years ago BusUp.
The entrepreneur considers that her project, promoted by “young descendants of traditional transport-related companies” is a good example of “how times change.” Canals is CEO of the family bus and minibus rental companies Canals and Avant Grup. Romagosa is the great-granddaughter of one of the pioneers in the car dealership business in Barcelona. Both she and Canals are proud of the bet of BusUp for “sustainable mobility”. “It makes me funny to think that our business model is based on removing the cars that our ancestors introduced from the road, when they went from horse transport to automobiles”, recognizes Romagosa who, however, clarifies that “the car itself does not it’s bad, bad is abuse ”.
BusUP relies on technology to offer a comprehensive, flexible and shared corporate transportation service through a platform that connects the company, the passenger, the driver and the operator. Its system is based on artificial intelligence, with algorithms for creating and optimizing routes.
Before the pandemic, BusUp already offered flexible options when organizing shared corporate transportation, but now this option has become the cornerstone of its business model. “With teleworking, people have realized that going to the office has a very high personal cost in time and resources. Some have even sold the car while they were at ERTE. If we want to encourage the return, for the benefit of innovation and creativity, we have to make it easier for them to travel, with comfortable and sustainable solutions ”, explains its co-founder.
Next stop: United States
With more than 100 corporate clients and half a million passengers in Europe and Latin America, BusUp now has entry into the United States as its “top priority”, after closing a round of five million euros led by the investment fund Proeza Ventures and backed by the American venture capital fund Autotech Ventures. “Investors believe that it has a long way to go because the future is flexible work with shared service as quintessential sustainability,” he celebrates.
The “integrated mix” of mobility solutions is the way to go, according to Romagosa. The operation of BusUp, where “passengers travel in the coach but use micromobility solutions such as scooters or bicycles for the last mile journey”, is a first step. “We are going to a world with integrated modal offers that allow the combination of transport systems,” he predicts.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.