Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Waiting in long lines for bus tickets is a well-known thing, both in Croatia and in the rest of the region, but that does not mean that things must stay that way. Croatian startup Vollo was created precisely in order to prevent this and offer an alternative – a simpler and faster online purchase of bus tickets.
The idea – like most ideas – came out of necessity, when one of the founders, Marko Jukić, found himself on the Adriatic coast, trying to plan a trip to one of the islands. This was the trigger that made Marko and his friends Darko Škulj, Igor Pravdić and Aleksandar Ruski realize that the transport sector needs to be digitized. With this goal in mind, they joined forces and launched Vollo, an online platform for search, comparison and purchase of bus tickets.
Vollo was conceived as an online platform where in just a few simple steps you can find and buy the most affordable bus ticket. In addition to online purchases, it offers the possibility of comparing the carriers, information on routes, times and lengths of the trip and additional features such as access to WiFi, power outlet, charging luggage and the like.
“In the segment that we are currently interested in, 90 percent of bus ticket purchases still take place at bus stations. In other Western countries, this ratio is the opposite, and that’s what we want to strive for,” explains Marko Jukić.
“Our goal is that the first thing people think about when they think of intercity bus transportation is Vollo, same as Booking.com or Airbnb are the first things that come to mind when it comes to tourist accommodation,” said Jukić, who has traveled the world and worked in Malaysia, Singapore, Azerbaijan and finally in Berlin for Rocket Internet.
He teamed up his expertise with his colleague Darko Škulj, an experienced UX/UI designer. “I’ve spent the last four years in companies that invest a lot in the processes that enable effective and efficient way of starting the manufacture of products, from brief to the launch on the market. After entering the market, some of them continue to monitor the results and the needs of users and are actively involved in its development. This experience has definitely helped us in the beginning to properly approach the preparation of our product,” said Darko, who has amassed a wealth of experience in companies Proximity, Five and Infinum.
Business model is formed in such a way that Vollo takes a commission per sold ticket, the carrier gets additional digital sales channel and raises awareness of their brand. They want to develop a system similar to that used by airlines – offering discounts to customers who buy tickets several months in advance, and a discount on the purchase of last-minute tickets. They take pride in the cheapest tickets and special offers that cannot be found on the bus stations.
So far, they have signed contracts with 80% of carriers in Croatia, offering over 15,000 routes, and are preparing another 200 new carriers throughout Europe with over 150,000 new routes. They also plan to issue iOS and Android apps. The development of the project was financed independently, without investors. “We had several offers, but what we are looking for is a partner investor, who will support us not only financially, but in the full sense of the word,” Marko Jukić said.