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Even in 2021, the positive surprises by the local tech companies seem to have no end! Namely, the local company GetByBus was bought by the Israeli giant and thus became the first platform for booking land and sea transport to join the Bookaway Group!
This confirmed the importance of digitalization as well as digital occupations, regardless of the pandemic…or maybe exactly in spite of it!
GetByBus continues its work under the current strong and recognized brand, but now backed up with significant financial and logistical support from the Bookaway Group with the goal to become part of the booking.com travel industry together.
This news fills us with some additional pride because we know the background story about the creation of the company, and believe us it is not at all glamorous as those who only look at the final outcome might think.
To remind you all, GetByBus was launched back in 2014, initially as a website where one could find information on the bus routes in Croatia until the demand for online booking encouraged the extension and final success of the platform.
One of the founders, Morten Smalby, who is originally from Denmark, fell in love with Dalmatia a few years ago. At that time, he used to write a tourist blog in which he praised the beauty of the Croatian coast and provided useful advice to foreign tourists so that they could easily reach their destinations… the idea to form a startup company was born from this.
“I’ve noticed that searching for timetables and buying bus tickets is quite complicated.”
From the very beginning, Morten had the support of his colleagues Ante Dagelić, Tereza Kulić, and Vivian Lukšić, and the four of them completely bootstrapped the first version of the GetByBus system!
This acquisition, especially in the times of the pandemic, will enable the most important thing – attracting the local talent and fresh energy, as well as a different perspective of foreigners who come to Split.
“Changing this market is not an easy process, because these companies have been operating offline for a very long time. We have dedicated decades to building trust with suppliers, proving time and again the benefits of doing business digitally, and as a result, the platform has grown organically. Thanks to the partnership within the Bookaway Group, we look forward to sharing resources and skills to further expand our customer base and gain more opportunities in regions such as Asia, the United States, and South America,” said Morten.
In less than 4 years, Bookaway has grown from a small Israeli startup to one of the world’s leading land transport companies with ambitions to expand into the US, China, and Latin American markets.
The Bookaway Group’s mission is to modernize the $157 billion industry, uniting the world’s leading traffic carriers and local suppliers with technology and resources that will ultimately improve the entire tourism industry.
During a global pandemic, Bookaway has ignited the ambition of some of the world’s leading brands to unite while faced with adversity and thus generate stronger support from loyal investors.
“Currently, 95% of the land transport industry is offline, which means passengers are wasting valuable time and money trying to navigate their journey by booking flights and hotels online. The Bookaway Group wants to make traveling by train, ferry, or bus an effortless experience. Finding, comparing, and booking tickets is done completely online, and customers receive support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” explains Noam Toister, founder and CEO of Bookaway.
We would like to offer our congratulations to the GetByBus team and we firmly believe that they will make a huge contribution to the global growth of Bookaway with their knowledge and skills!
GetByBus has been supporting the work of Split Tech City with its membership for many years, and Morten and Ante are actively involved in the work of the community. With their perspectives, as well as selfless sharing of knowledge and experiences, they motivate young people and encourage them on their professional pat
Ante was one of the speakers at the first Split Tech City Motivational Conference for Youth: Live Locally, Work Globally, and Morten Smalby participated in the 118th Open Coffee meetup where he talked about the lessons learned when launching the GetByBus.com platform!
Want to join the GetByBus team? See their open positions here!
Photos by: Bruno Dubravec