The airline industry has changed dramatically in the past 15 years, with most reservations now being processed online. But for other modes of transit—rail, bus and ferry—booking and purchasing are still brick-and-mortar operations. Even in Europe, where train travel is prevalent, online sales account for less than 25 percent of orders, according to an estimate from GoEuro, a Berlin-based startup that offers comparative pricing across all types of transport: air, rail, bus and boat.

GoEuro aims to change that. Since launching in April 2013, the company has brought in $31 million in seed and venture funding in hopes of disrupting the rail and bus industries.

CEO Naren Shaam conceived GoEuro while traveling around Europe in summer 2010 after receiving his MBA from Harvard; he was slated to start a job in New York City that fall. It wasn’t his first time backpacking—he’d enjoyed crisscrossing Southeast Asia several years earlier—but on this trip, as he traversed 14 European countries, he noticed a difference. “Ground transportation in Europe is superior to maybe the entire rest of the world,” he says. “Rail and bus are both very convenient.”

Shaam also realized that despite superb infrastructure, access to transit information was archaic, built on clunky legacy systems and outdated modes of doing business. “Every country is siloed,” he says, and as a traveler he faced numerous questions every day. If you want to get from London to Amsterdam, is it cheaper to take a train or fly? How can one determine the total travel time for a flight, including transport to the airport? Shouldn’t it be possible to plan a trip across networks and know the pricing for the entire route?

Airport codes, which are assigned to even the smallest airstrips, exist for ease and accuracy of travel routing and scheduling. The same isn’t true for train depots, ferry docks or bus terminals. To build a robust database, the GoEuro team painstakingly compiles, labels and catalogs every potential destination. “It’s a really massive market of information, very distributed, and dispersed across modes of travel,” Shaam says.

GoEuro users plug in a destination—from a major city to a town or even a village—and the service, which resembles Hipmunk or Kayak, returns listings for rail, air and bus transit, including schedules and pricing. From there, travelers can select the cheapest mode of transport, the scenic route or, if they’re lucky, both.

GoEuro’s first major contract was with a German railway, which gave the small startup access to its database of stations and schedules. But it’s one thing to sign a national company; it’s another to get that kind of information from humble providers such as a private bus company in Italy that operates just three days per week.

GoEuro, which has grown from five to 90 employees, is now operational in nine countries and has more than 150 rail, bus and boating partners. The company doesn’t offer specific figures but says it serves “millions of consumers.” Growth will continue “as fast as we can sign up rail companies,” Shaam says.

“We work with a large legacy industry—one that’s beautiful and receptive,” he adds. “Maybe it takes an outsider to come in and solve the problem of data.”

More travel brilliance

Hate the Wild West of Uber? AsterRide works with taxi and limo businesses to offer both on-demand requests and advance reservations, guaranteeing a smooth ride by professional drivers.

Transit App finds the best route by displaying all available options, from buses to bike shares to Uber.

Flight delayed? Reroute around the airline and receive compensation for your trouble using the Refund.me app or website.

Shuddle, an Uber-like car service for minors and seniors, runs extensive background checks. At pickup, the driver says a secret word selected by the family to confirm their identity; once the ride reaches its destination, a message is sent to the adult family member.

Dufl is an apparel storage, shipping and cleaning service for business travelers. Ship clothing to the Dufl warehouse, where it’s inventoried, cleaned and stored. When it’s time to travel, schedule hotel delivery via app and fly luggage-free; at the end of the trip, affix the shipping label and drop your bag at hotel checkout.

The Mojio smart car system combines a virtual mechanic, parking locator and mileage score card in one GPS- and cellular-enabled device that works with most cars made after 1995.

A bag with brains: The Bluesmart carry-on, controlled via smartphone app that syncs with online itineraries, has a digital scale (so users don’t exceed weight limits), digital lock, proximity sensor, location tracking and phone-charging battery.

Hitch the Sealander amphibious trailer to your car and use it as a sleeper at any campsite; secure the low-emission outboard motor, and it’s ready to hit the water.

The Dash device plugs in under your steering wheel and connects to your phone via Bluetooth, providing diagnostics on vehicle performance, fuel efficiency, road conditions and driver behavior.