Lausanne-based startup Freelane receives CHF 70,000 in FIT funding

FIT | 17 December 2019

Vaud’s Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT) has awarded Freelane a total of CHF 70,000 in funding: a CHF 20,000 FIT Digital Grant and a CHF 50,000 FIT Digital by EHL Seed Loan.  

Freelane, a startup founded this year in Lausanne, has developed an app that helps travelers get to their destination hassle-free. The system uses artificial intelligence and real-time travel data to inform users of possible problems at every step of their journey and suggest alternatives. That means travelers can change their route on the fly to avoid construction work or delayed trains, for example. That can save them time and money – and ensure they don’t miss any connections.

Using digital technology to enhance the traveling experience
What makes Freelane’s app different is that it proactively looks for potential problems and offers solutions. Users simply need to enter their travel itinerary as soon as they make a reservation; the app will track them along their journey and give alerts and suggestions as needed. It works by pulling information from road-traffic and air-traffic maps via network links and through partnerships the company has established with airlines, travel companies and hotels. For example, a business traveler taking the train to the airport will be notified on the train if his plane is late and be given information about the closest business lounge to use while he waits. With Freelane, users get up-to-the-minute travel information and alternatives from their starting point to their destination, for worry-free, stress-free travel.

Starting your trip off on the right foot
Freelane’s developers came up with the idea during the 2017 {Re}Coding Aviation Hackathon in Berlin. The following year, they won the Incubation Phase award at the IATA Geneva Hackathon on the topic of reducing travelers’ stress. This award confirmed the feasibility of their business idea and prompted them to take it further.

Freelane is using the CHF 70,000 in FIT funding it received this year to finalize its minimum viable product, test its business assumptions and hire additional staff. The startup recently moved into EHL’s Innovation Village and has been invited to present its app at the 2019 IATA Business Travel Summit. If its business development efforts are successful, the firm could capture a part of the growing travel market – expected to reach 1.7 billion dollars by 2023.

Nicolas Fete, co-founder Freelane | hello(at)

Freelane wins the incubation phase of the 9th IATA Hackathon in Geneva