Jun. 15, 2020
Sumitomo Corporation Europe Limited
Information on investment in Teroplan, start-up company, who sells bus and railway tickets online and provides on-demand bus services in Poland
Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo) and Sumitomo Corporation Europe Limited (Head Office: London, U.K.; President and CEO: Takashi Yamana) (below, collectively referred to as the “Sumitomo Corporation Group”) have acquired an equity stake in Teroplan S.A. (Head Office: Poland; CEO: Andrzej Soroczynski; below, “Teroplan”), a Polish online bus and railway ticket sales platform and on-demand bus company (Note 1). Investment was made by Sumitomo Corporation Europe through its R&D investment support scheme (Note 2).
There are still many regions where public transportation services are not convenient or affordable. In Central and Eastern Europe, where the development of public transportation including railway network is not sufficient, bus services provided by numerous private companies are widely used for inter-city transportation. High level of market fragmentation is resulting in quality inconsistencies and makes the process of finding connections and buying tickets complicated.
Teroplan’s mission is to make travelling easy and accessible. Thanks to data gathered through its back-office system for bus operators, Teroplan can provide a one stop on-line shop offering tickets from over 400 bus and railway operators in Poland, Serbia and Ukraine. Teroplan is enabling these operators to make the sales process cashless and move it online which, due to Covid-19, is considered to be one of the biggest challenges currently facing the industry. Teroplan sells almost 3 million tickets a year while its trip planner is used almost 230 million times. By utilizing big data collected through its ticket sales platform, Teroplan deployed an on-demand minibus service under the brand of Hoper. Hoper service is complimentary to existing transportation networks and precisely addresses unmet demand. Using Hoper on-demand minibus service is as comfortable as taxis but reasonably priced, passengers can travel safely from door to door, without needing to change to other mode of transportation or carry luggage. This service is suitable for low population density areas and highly appreciated especially by elderly passengers. Thanks to Hoper service’s small vehicle size, it is possible to avoid crowded stations and abide by current social distancing guidelines, which makes it a safer alternative to bus or train. During its one-year proof of concept, Hoper has served 40 thousand passengers and proved feasibility of its on-demand minibus services. With investment from Sumitomo Corporation Group, Teroplan intends to scale-up Hoper business in Poland and roll it out to other Central Eastern European countries starting in Serbia and Ukraine.
The Sumitomo Corporation Group, by utilizing its existing business base in the region of Central Eastern Europe, will support Teroplan to expand its on-demand minibus business and contribute to the improvement of transportation services accessibility and quality.
(Note1) On-demand bus service: Taxi like minibus service, where customer can decide their pick-up and drop-off location.
(Note2) Sumitomo Corporation Europe's R & D investment support system: An internal system introduced in January 2018 for the purpose of flexible investing in startup companies that are driving innovation (Innovative technologies, services, and business models) in Europe.
|Company Name||:||Teroplan S.A.|
|Other major shareholder||:||Founders and Wirtualna Polska Holding|
|Business Profile||:||Online sales of bus and railway tickets, back office systems for bus operators and on-demand minibus services|
■Sumitomo Corporation’s Material Issues
Sumitomo Corporation Group positions “Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society” as an important factor in developing business strategies and in the decision-making process for individual businesses. Going forward, we will pursue sustainable growth by resolving these issues through our business activities. This project especially contributes to “Achieving Harmony with the Global Environment”, “Contributing to the Development of Local Communities and Industries”, “Establishing a Foundation for Comfortable and Enriching Lifestyles” and “Providing Diverse “Accessibility””.