Omio gathers €100m in latest financing round

The company is one of the capital’s most valuable startups and, if other Berlin upstarts are an indication, likely has a promising future.

Looking for travel deals at Hauptbahnhof.
Looking for travel deals at Hauptbahnhof.Jan Huebner/imago images

Berlin-Travel booking site Omio on Wednesday announced a fresh $100 million round of financing that it intends to use for operations and acquisitions as corona hammers its rivals.

Omio, headquartered in Prenzlauer Berg, has now raised $396 million in 9 funding rounds. The cash this time came from unnamed new invetorrs as well as existing investors such as Swedish financial investor Kinnevik, a former Rocket Internet financier, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, US venture capitalists NEA and Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

The sizeable fundraising is just the latest indicator of the maturity of Berlin’s startup scene. Late Wednesday Deutsche Börse, which operates the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, said Mitte’s Delivery Hero would replace scandal-plagued Wirecard in the DAX, Germany’s prestigious index of 30 top companies.

Delivery Hero, based on Oranienburger Straße, is the second Berlin company to make it on the DAX this year – landlord Deutsche Wohnen was added in June. Nine-year-old Delivery Hero was worth about €19.5 billion Thursday while Deutsche Wohnen had a market cap of €15.3 billion.

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Omio was founded in 2012 by India-native Narem Shaam as Goeuro and rebranded last year to reflect a more global focus. Users can book various kinds of travel on the site, including trains, buses and even ferries. While announcing the financing, Omio said consumers are again traveling with bookings in Germany and France 50 per cent above pre-Covid levels.

“We are still in COVID-19. The situation’s not yet over, so our primary goal coming out of this is very much investing in the shifts in consumer behavior in our core product,” CEO Shaam said in an interview with Tech Crunch. “Any M&A acquisitions we’ll do is more opportunistic, based on [factors like] pricing and what’s happening in the industry.”

The company is working to help customers link various types of journeys to keep them on the site and recently launched a service called the Open Travel Index to help users understand what corona restrictions are in place at various destinations.