SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian intercity bus startup Buser said on Thursday it had raised 700 million reais ($138 million) from LGT Lightrock, Softbank, Monashees and other venture capital firms to fund new services aimed at a ten-fold expansion next year.
The travel app, which now serves nearly 4 million users, aims to modernize ground transport in Brazil, where some 300 million bus tickets were sold in 2019, according to Valor Capital, which also contributed in the round.
Buser said the fresh capital would help finance 1 billion reais of investment over the next two years, including expansion into cargo shipping, urban transportation and a marketplace for traditional bus companies.
The startup said it has earmarked 200 million reais to finance new buses for its partners and 400 million reais for opening new destinations across the country.
"With this contribution, we will continue to increase the number of passengers, journeys and partnerships and prepare for tourism, which will return," said Marcelo Abritta, the co-founder and chief executive of Buser, in a statement.
Although the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage in Brazil, where it has taken more than 475,000 lives, airlines and travel companies are gearing up for a recovery as vaccinations are expected to accelerate later this year.
($1 = 5.0692 reais)
(Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr.; Writing by Jimin Kang; Editing by Brad Haynes and Richard Chang)