At the end of last week, JDN[FR] reported that Capitaine Train, an eCommerce startup which aggregates train ticket sales for all major European train lines, had raised €1.4M from Index Venture, Fotolia CEO Oleg Tscheltzoff, and other investors. The startup, founded by three engineers, looks to make buying train tickets easy.
Purchasing tickets on sites like Voyages-SNCF, the official ticketing site for France’s only train line, has been notoriously ugly, difficult, and just annoying. While very recent innovations, like e-tickets and the ability to look at schedules without seeing prices has made things a little easier, it only gets worse when you want to travel abroad. I experienced the issue first hand last year when I used Voyages SNCF to purchase tickets that would take me from London to Cologne by way of Paris & Brussels. The tickets were not allowed to be done in e-ticketing format, since some of the trains I was taking was by companies which didn’t offer the service, and, little did I know when I arrived in Belgium, I was unable to print my ticket from Brussels to Cologne outside of France – yeah, that makes sense. The worst of it was explaining that in French to someone who was Flemish – I doubt that made my fine for only having an email confirmation any smaller.
Capitaine Train has yet to launch out of prviate beta, but they are already hiring like crazy. They are one of 40 French startups participating in “Join a Startup” an event taking place on September 22nd which will have over 160 jobs available to (mostly) engineers, where engineers can meet & greet with the startups. You can see the full list of which startups will be hiring at the event on the site, but we’ve covered a few of them: the recently acquired Joliebox,Work4Labs, who recently raised $11M, QUNB, VoitureLib, who recently raised $2Million, & many more!
I may have spoke too soon about Index not investing in France…
My one last note is to point out that, a while ago, I may or may not have said that all French entrepreneurs should consider Index a waste of time, despite their having raised a €350 million euro fund dedicated to Europe. At the time, Index hadn’t invested in France in a while (since Criteo, basically), and while several VCs were warning me that Index was gearing up for something, I chose to egg them on anyway – I told myself I would guilt them into investing in France, and now I can stupidly congratulate myself. Nonetheless, the point is: I was not 100% right. I hope to see more Index involvement in France, especially since their summer party was unprecedented in France.
Captaine Train’s ticketing platform will be open to the public in the coming months, and you can sign up for an invitation on their site.