Exclusive FlixBus insights: A coffee with founder and CIO Daniel Krauss!
By Johanna Weigl
With the announcement of the biggest investment round a German startup has ever received, FlixBus has been all over the news in the past few days. What a great timing to have FlixBus founder and ZOLLHOF mentor Daniel Krauss for an afternoon coffee in our office. Daniel shared not only insights about the hot funding, but painted also a prosperous picture of the future of FlixMobility for us!
About six years ago, the journey of FlixBus started with a few busses in the distinct green color pursuing the mission to change travel all over Europe. Ever since, the Munich startup has hit the fast lane! FlixMobility operates in 29 European countries, has recently entered the American market and records an annual growth rate of impressive 50%. And there is more to come! Let’s take a look into the green future of mobility!
With the news of Daniel visiting us, our ZOLLHOF kitchen was instantly filled with curious minds and vibes of good energy. Pinned to the lips of the former FAU student, the ZOHO team, talents and startuppers were thrilled to get exclusive details. As always, we would like to follow our mission of #SharingIsCaring and have thus collected key takeaways for you.
With his straight-forward Franconian mentality, Daniel was not keen on getting congratulations on the investment round, he rather pointed out the responsibilities coming along with it. Targeting the Asian market with focus on India as well as South America, further growing in the US and investing heavily in FlixTrain are the main areas in line with the overall vision of FlixBus.
Moreover, the launch of FlixCar as a direct answer to the recently established BlaBlaBus of the French competitor is another field the investment will flow into. However, Daniel clearly corrected misinterpretations by defining rather small resource allocations to the car pooling concept. By adding FlixCar to the mobility platform, FlixMobility is able to offer a higher value to their community by connecting also remote areas.
The message is clear: with increasing size there comes increasing responsibility! The margin for error is extremely small, since a mistake can easily lead to millions in losses for FlixBus. However, living the startup spirit, the company still focuses on speed and innovation. Here lies the main challenge, FlixBus is continuing to tackle in the future.
Furthermore, Daniel gave us the opportunity to drill him with burning questions during a short interview after the kitchen meetup. Of course, we’ve collected the main highlights for you to read below.
What was the purpose of communicating the investment round?
So, indeed, I think on Thursday, we have communicated that we have closed the investment round. However, without informing about the actual amount — this was made up by the press. The main reason is, that we would like to ensure that everybody understands our ambition as well as strategic goals: expanding to Latin America and Asia, focusing on growing further in the US, investing heavily in the train product as well as building up an adjacent business with FlixCar.
How will FlixCar differentiate itself from other competitors?
By combining all FlixMobility services — FlixBus, FlixTrain and FlixCar, we make sure that our customers are getting the greatest inventory. Since we are Europe’s market leader in terms of bus connections, we have the option to connect also smaller cities with the help of a car sharing alternative.
How will the investment contribute to your overall vision?
Of course, if you grow further — and this is what we are going to do — we really want to stick to our ambition to provide smart and green mobility for the world! That means not only Europe or the US but the entire world to be painted in green! While following this ambition, there is obviously quite some use for the funding as well as experience provided by the investor.
Curious to find out more? Check out the full interview! Daniel is sharing more insights on environmental responsibilities as well as unexpected challenges FlixBus is facing when entering new markets!
As you have heard FlixBus is ready to shape the future of mobility! Their mission is focusing on smart AND green mobility solutions for travelers all over the world. Be a part of it! Let’s leave an impact by choosing sustainable transportation options as well as promoting innovative sharing concepts!
Go green for free! Looking for a sustainable way to visit our Digital Tech Summit 2019? FlixBus is providing free bus tickets within whole Germany for all participants of the event. Just get your Digital Tech Summit ticket and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your free ride!
Johanna is currently working in Marketing Communications at ZOLLHOF as well as finishing her Masters in International Business at FAU. Being a culture enthusiast majoring in Marketing, she has been collecting practical experience in different countries around the globe.