Coach GDS Distribusion scooped the Start-up & Innovation in Travel Award at this week’s Travel Distribution Summit.
The Berlin-based start-up has developed a system for intercity and shuttle bus products.
It provides two million bookable rides from more than 60 bus operators covering 25 countries to online resellers and travel agencies worldwide through an API, as well as a booking system for travel agencies.
Distribusion was voted for by the audience on Wednesday after delivering a pitch head-to-head with Asian hotel search company Nida Rooms, headed by Kanesh Avili.
On Tuesday the innovators had the opportunity to quiz 10 travel entrepreneurs and potential investors including Clive Jacobs, chairman of Travel Weekly Group and founder of Holiday Autos, STA Travel founder Dick Porter and Jason Katz from Kings Capital.
Later in the day 12 firms were given 10 minutes each to pitch for one of two places in the final. The final vote was a close one.
Distribusion co-founder Johannes Thunert said: “It feels great to get honoured by experienced managers of the travel industry.
“We are more than happy that we convinced the judges as well at the audience with our approach to connect travel resellers to bus operators worldwide.
“Since our launch last year we get lots of positive feedback and the award is a great appreciation for the hard work of our entire team.”
Distribusion raised €6 million in funding from investors last month.
The funding, from Northzone, Creandum and HR Ventures, will be used to “accelerate the product and technology development and to ramp up the acquisition and integration of new bus operators and resellers”.
Existing seed investor Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg and industry-specific business angels completed the finance round.
Distribusion will also work to push market coverage across Europe and expand their business operations to the major intercity bus markets in South America and Southeast Asia.
The firm’s teams in Berlin and Bonn are expected to triple by the end of 2016.