Last week, Blablacar (the car ride-sharing platform) raised $100million in funding thus becoming one of the largest venture investment in a French startup on record.
Founded in 2006, Blablacar is quite simple: it is a platform that helps travellers (drivers and passengers) to share the total cost of a trip somewhere. In a way, it very much looks like the 21st century hitchhiking method – so much safer and so much more digital. Blablacar also allows its users to reduce their CO2 emissions, save money and meet new people with a common state of mind. For instance, on one hand you have Emily who has a car and has decided to drive to Paris. But the total cost of the ride is quite high and she would very much like to reduce it and even meet new people. She creates her profile on Blablacar and shares important details about her, her car, her journey and the number of seats available she has. On the other hand, you have users like Anna who do not have a car but would like to go to Paris too. The platform allows these two users to connect, coordinate, travel together and eventually share the total cost of the ride.
One important aspect of the platform is that it prohibits drivers from generating profits on the rides they give. Blablacar always suggest pricing that covers fuel, tolls and other expenses but no profit. To go to Paris will probably cost you between £35 and £45 which (let’s admit it) is quite interesting compared to Eurostar. Being a member of the sharing economy, Blablacar do ask its users to rate and review each other in order to build up a complete and trustworthy database of its drivers and passengers.
The $100 million raised will definitively help Blablacar reinforce its presence in Europe. But it will especially help the company to expand its business in Turkey, Brazil and India.
Knowing that 8 million people are already members of the platform and are already quite active as we now know that more than one million rides are shared each month, it looks like Blablacar has a great future ahead.