In the world of on-demand services, everything is available at your request, be it cars, house cleaners, food delivery, parking valets, or a place to stay. So why shouldn’t there also be a place to do instant bus rental? Sharethebus is addressing this particular need for event organizers and destinations, and on Wednesday, it has raised $5 million in funding to support its efforts.
The Canadian-based startup is also undergoing a name change — it’s now known as Bus.com.
Founded in 2014 by Kyle Boulay and Wolf Kohlberg, the company takes on the existing charter bus industry, using technology to facilitate bus rentals and coordinating group transit anywhere in the United States and Canada. To further grow its service, Bus.com raised a series A round, bringing in $5 million from Jackson Square Ventures, BMW i Ventures, Real Ventures, Y Combinator, and others.
“Better busing is fundamental to the future of travel,” Boulay said in a statement. “Buses are the best way to mobilize entire communities, including music and sports fans, political rallies, [and] university students. We are enabling and enhancing the bus travel experience.”
Much like Uber and Lyft, Bus.com doesn’t own any buses itself. Instead, it connects customers with various bus operators in the area. The service also helps riders purchase tickets to various events, such as music festivals, trips to cities across the U.S., marches, sporting events, and more.
The company has now shuttled more than 150,000 people across 4,000 trips in 37 states and 3 countries. It plans on using the funds to improve its booking technology, enhance the rider experience and bus supplier operations, and gain more customers. Some of its customers include Live Nation, AEG, Huka Entertainment, and student organizations from Harvard, Yale, M.I.T., and others.
To date, Bus.com has raised nearly $8 million in venture funding, including $1.5 million from Real Ventures in February 2016.