German intercity bus aggregator Flixbus plans India debut


Six years after its launch in Germany, intercity bus service provider Flixbus is all set to make its biggest geographic leap as it plans to launch bus services in India.

The Munich-based firm has already begun hiring officials for the Indian market, said a Business Standard report quoting a spokesperson of Flixbus Global.

Launched by Daniel Krauss, André Schwämmlein and Jochen Engert in 2013, Flixbus works on a model similar to the ride-hailing firm Uber where it does not own buses or employs the drivers. It majorly takes care of the operational side of the business including controlling the scheduling, ticketing, customer service and network planning.

Buses are one of the most popular modes of transport in India. Over 60% of urban and rural households travel and spend on bus travel. Presently, the online intercity bus travel landscape is dominated by MakeMyTrip (via redBus) followed by Paytm, Abhibus and a few others.

Gaining grounds in the Indian market for Flixbus won’t be easy as the aggregation space is crowded and competitive.

Flixbus will aim to standardise intercity bus transport in India. At present, it claims to connect over 2,000 destinations in 30 countries. About 100 million passengers are said to have travelled with Flixbus.

Flixbus uses dynamic pricing to sell tickets through an online sales platform and its app. It offers passengers access to free Wi-Fi onboard and GPS live tracking of buses.

The company claims to have over 1,200 employees as part of its international teams in countries across Europe and the US. It works on a revenue-sharing model where the company keeps about 25-30% of the ticket price.

Flixbus has got backing from marquee investors such as General Atlantic, Silver Lake Partners and Daimler.

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