Gill Business Systems (Gillbus), a company that develops inventory distribution systems (IDS) for the bus-transportation industry, has secured $3 million from a consortium of three venture funds – Intel Capital, InVenture Partners and FinSight – at an undisclosed valuation.
Launched in Ukraine in 2010, Gillbus aims to make distribution of tickets for buses “as smooth as tickets for airlines.” The company claims that the demand for its services and the volume of the transactions on its platform have increased ten-fold over the past two years.
Intel Capital Investment Director Maxim Krasnykh told East-West Digital News that his fund had been attracted by “a market of about $5 billion in Russia and Ukraine, combined with low technology penetration, the opportunities in other markets, and the startup’s highly capable team.”
“The intercity bus-transportation industry in Russia and Ukraine still uses outdated technologies which cannot consolidate the carriers’ inventory and interact efficiently [with offline and online ticket-selling agencies]. This leads to poor customer service and [lower financial performance] for bus carriers,” explains Gillbus Business Development and Investments Director Ilya Ekushevskiy.
With offices in Moscow and Bangkok, the company is now expanding across Russia and South-East Asia. “We are also exploring other regions including Africa and Kenya in particular,” Gillbus representative Artem Altukhov told East-West Digital News.
“We are seeking cooperation with strong foreign partners specialized in distribution (especially OTAs), as well as with foreign venture funds, for further expansion across new markets,” he added.
Intel Capital “fully functional” in Russia and Ukraine
InVenture Partners is a $100-million fund launched two years ago by Sergey Azatyan and Anton Inshutin that targets consumer technologies, financial and telecom products, online marketing and advertising tools, tourism platforms, and corporate services.
FinSight is an internationally-oriented fund just launched by Russian companies Finam and Skagit Investment that aims to raise $50 million to $100 million.
Intel has invested over $1 billion in the Russian market since 1991 and “remains committed to support its growth and the development of Russian innovative economy,” the fund stated.
Its venture branch, Intel Capital, is one of the most active international venture funds in both the Russian and Ukrainian venture markets with nine portfolio companies in Russia and two in Ukraine. While “monitoring the current developments in the two countries, we are not involved into politics in any form,” Krasnykh said. “Our offices in Russia and Ukraine are fully functional,” he added.