FlixMobility: The Anything But Ordinary Travel Solution
If there’s one thing an ambitious entrepreneur should possess, it’s an immaculate skillset and the power to recognize a riveting opportunity!
That is exactly what German trio, Jochen Engert, Daniel Krauss, and Andre Schwammlein, take pride in. The three friends, entrepreneurs, and co-founders joined forces and skills in developing the most sophisticated and revolutionized intercity and long-way traveling company - FlixMobility!
The bus industry is viral worldwide. Whether you want to travel inside a specific town, or your route is between cities, buses are always one of the most essential means of transport. The public commute is utilized daily and in almost every corner of the globe. Many riders resort to bus driving because it helps reduce the lines of cars in traffic, and it is an affordable option, available to all.
Either way, bus companies are always hands-full with work, and this trio knew how to grab this opportunity and turn it into a brilliant business idea. Interested in how the creation of FlixMobility played out?
The Munich Trio
The connection between the three entrepreneurs started in their early school days and became strong very randomly. They never could have guessed that the three of them would be partners in one company, but the future held plenty of unexpected variables that they slowly understood as they grew up.
Everything started when Daniel first met Andre as a classmate, a friendship that lasted on from there. To make the coincidence even weirder, years after first meeting at school, Andre and Jochen crossed paths at a company where they both worked.
Jochen was born in the Wurzburg area in 1981. As a kid he was very smart and sharp, intrigued by things and games that have no solution at first glance. Deep down, he carried the urge to fix things, and get results in return.
He attended the Gymnasium Markbreit high school and after finishing it, he continued at the University of Stuttgart, from where he holds a diploma in technical orientation and business administration. Jochen then proceeded his studies to the University of Ottawa, where he was pursuing a course in finance.
Daniel was born in 1983, in Neheim-Husten. He has been a computer geek his whole life, although he has finished economic sciences at the Fern University in Hagen. Daniel has worked in IT sectors such as Marquardt GmbH, Siemens AG, and IFS AB. His most important job was at Microsoft, where he worked for three years.
Andre was also born in 1981. As a teenager, he fancied engineering in general, so when he came to decide on colleges, he chose industrial engineering in Erlangen-Nuremberg. Together with Daniel, he first co-founded an IT consulting company, and later met Jochen whilst working for Boston Consulting Group in Munich.
A Now or Never Moment
The idea for the platform came as randomly as these three guys' friendship. All of them knew that they came to Munich in the pursuit of better possibilities in their careers and options for a better tomorrow.
After the trio met, they started spending more time together, going out for drinks on the weekend and bonding over shared experiences, all the while discussing goals and sharing the eagerness of developing something new in the future. But, as time passed by, one moment became crucial for the young entrepreneurs in chasing after their dreams: when the German government announced that the bus market was going to be deregulated!
Jochen, Daniel, and Andre started brainstorming ideas on how they could win this lifetime opportunity, redesign traditional traveling with great technological innovations, and prosper within the business world. The three friends combined their assets, knowledge, and experiences and developed a plan on how the idea would be executed. At that point, Jochen was undertaking his Ph.D. in management at WHU - Otto Beisheim School, which he canceled when the idea for FlixMobility first buzzed.
At the same time, Andre stepped down from his function as a strategic consultant at Boston Consulting Group. The will for creating something different in the business world was so burdening that Daniel had to sacrifice his own vehicle and his three-year job at Microsoft to make it happen.
All three of them were aware that they are taking a serious challenge stepping into the transport industry and resigning their posts. Simultaneously, they knew that some risks were necessary to bring an idea to reality.
And so, their journey to creating FlixMobility commenced!
Traditional Traveling, Sophisticated
Three friends created FlixMobility in 2011. Their first step to achieving their plans was to design a completely new, unique, and different business model. Jochen, Daniel, and Andre made a specific combination of transport and e-commerce platform, including details of a modern tech-startup to bring the initial change.
The trio made arrangements with already existing bus companies whose job was to provide vehicles and drivers, whilst FlixMobility would handle network planning, marketing, scheduling, branding, customer service, and the IT sector. The official launching of the platform was in 2013 when the founders were certain the company relied on the most beneficial technology, such as the FlixBus app, an e-ticketing system, live GPS bus tracking, and free Wi-Fi whilst traveling.
This fresh approach showed a radical new growth of the business during the platform’s beginnings. First, they took Germany’s intercity’s lines, and later, when the rise was obvious, the trio expanded their entrepreneurial efforts all across Europe.
FlixBus quickly became the global mobility transport provider with its smart, green, and friendly system that offers customers to explore the world at a low cost and under the highest safety. When tradition met technology, FlixBus was recognized planet-wise as it was the platform’s remarkable achievement in the travel industry. Even though the politics of the company is to not own any buses and not to employ any drivers, their services reached a level that no other competitor has ever done.
Being the renewable, affordable, and convenient option everyone loves, FlixMobility is breaking the boundaries of traditional traveling every single day.
Profiling FlixMobility through the Years
Since its foundation, the company has had 5 acquisitions, a single investment, and a total funding amount of €500 million, with a total of 15 investors. Headquartered in Munich, the platform has approximately 5,000 employees working hard in every sector of transport to provide the best experiences for customers.
The year 2015 was very significant for FlixBus because of the platform’s establishment over many other European countries, and the opening of its subsidiaries in France, Italy, the Netherlands, together with expanding its routes to Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, and Sweden. In 2016, FlixBus entered the fields of Eastern and Central Europe covering Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Slovenia. The same year, the company started its expansion plans across bigger regions in Scandinavia.
FlixBus made many deals with other bus companies during its development years, but one of the most important ones was the expansion into the USA market, in 2018. Also in 2018, FlixMobility - a mother company of FlixBus - was able to announce the launching of FlixTrain, expanding their transport network to rails and revolutionizing the industry. In 2019, the company launched its services in Turkey and USA cities like New Orleans, Baton Rouge, San Antonio, Houston, New York, and Richmond.
FlixMobility reached its full potential in 2020 when the company entered the United Kingdom and the Baltic market with routes to Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The next destination that the platform is yet taking its services to Russia.
Overall, Jochen, Daniel, and Andre managed to switch their lives and careers in the blink of an eye, creating a massive wind of positive change for the environment, and extending a helping hand to people who enjoy everyday adventures enabled by FlixMobility.
Munich, Europe, and the world should be proud!