Rome2rio is a multi-modal travel website and its revenue comes primarily from search engine advertisements. The company has expanded its product line beyond traditional car rental bookings to include bus and ferry bookings, hotel reservations, and airport transfers. The company was founded in 2012 and is owned by Omio. Despite the recent revenue struggles, Rome2rio has continued to stay true to its metasearch roots while expanding into a broader geographic scope.
Rome2rio has had a challenging time getting indexed in Google. Its founders were inspired by the European dilemma of taking a train or a plane. Their goal was to capitalize on this dilemma by promoting flights and other travel ads through the website. The website allows users to enter their desired starting point and destination and then see a variety of travel options for their trip.
Rome2rio is a Sydney-based start-up that has grown significantly in less than two years. Its founders, Rod Cuthbert and Brian Harniman, were not able to raise local start-up capital, and had to raise A$1.6 million from angel investors. But this did not stop them from building a successful multimodal travel site.
SEO is a key driver of growth for a site that focuses on travel. By using “travel guide” landing pages, Rome2rio aims to improve accuracy in search results. The company embeds a Google Maps image with search parameters, which allows visitors to see relevant search results within milliseconds. According to a study by Unbounce, page speed is considered a top priority by 70 percent of shoppers.