BlaBlaCar

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Comuto SA
TypePrivately held company
Industrytransport Edit this on Wikidata
Founded16 September 2006; 15 years ago (2006-09-16)
FounderFrédéric Mazzella
Francis Nappez
Nicolas Brusson
Nicolas Deroche
Headquarters,
Area served
Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Czechia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, and United Kingdom
ServicesCarpooling
Revenue€80,000,000 environ (2015)[1]
Members90 million (2021)
Number of employees
600
Websitewww.blablacar.com

BlaBlaCar is a French online marketplace for carpooling. Its website and mobile apps connect drivers and passengers willing to travel together between cities and share the cost of the journey.[2][3][4] The company does not own any vehicles; it is a broker and receives a commission (between 18% and 21%) from every booking.[5]

The platform has 100 million members, of which 25 million are active per quarter, and is available in 22 countries, almost all of which are in Europe and Latin America – countries include: Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.[6]

The company does not operate in the United States because "gas is cheaper there, cities are too far from each other and too big to conveniently pick up and drop off people".[2]

The service is named for its rating scale for drivers' preferred level of chattiness in the car: "Bla" for not very chatty, "BlaBla" for someone who likes to talk, and "BlaBlaBla" for those who can't keep quiet.[7]

History[edit]

In 2004, Vincent Caron bought the domain name Covoiturage.fr and launched the first version of the site Covoiturage.fr.[8] In 2006, the domain name was sold to Frédéric Mazzella. He created the company Comuto which would become the company owner of every car-pool site.[citation needed]

In August 2008, Comuto launched the second version of the website. The new version includes a community aspect allowing public recommendation, profiles, and biographies. Covoiturage.fr was both a travel website and a community website. As early as September 2008, Covoiturage.fr became the number one carpool web site in France.[9]

In 2009, Comuto launched a Spanish version of the site under the name of Comuto.es. Throughout the year, Comuto opened a lot of carpool services for companies and cities, such as MAIF, IKEA, Vinci Park, RATP, Carrefour, the city of Montrouge and multiple others. In December 2009, the company unveiled its iPhone application, with the android version becoming available in February 2010.[citation needed]

In June 2011, Comuto introduced BlaBlaCar.com in the United Kingdom.[10]

In June 2012, an online reservation service was added to Covoiturage.fr. Users buy their trip online and the web site transfers part of the ticket price to the driver. This solution had been tested in Western France since 2011.[11] The web service put in place its business model and began to make profits. It was also a way to attract drivers and to reach the critical mass. Between July and November, Comuto expanded to Italy, Portugal, Poland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium.[citation needed]

In April 2013, BlaBlaCar was launched in Germany[12] where many other carpool sites already exist. On 29 April, Covoiturage.fr was re-branded BlaBlaCar.fr[13] in order to unify all the sites under one name. At the end of the year, BlaBlaCar revealed that they have 5 million members[14] with 1 million monthly active users spread through 10 countries.[citation needed]

In January 2014, BlaBlaCar was introduced in Ukraine and Russia,[15] the company strongly considered Brazil as its next destination for expansion. In September, the service had 10 million users.[16]

In January 2015, BlaBlaCar expanded to India. The company bought multiple competitors, including Carpooling in Germany,[17] Autohop in eastern Europe, and Rides in Mexico. The last operation allowed the company to establish itself in the Americas, particularly in Mexico.[18] At this time, the company had 290 employees on three continents and 20 million users in 19 countries. On 18 May, BlaBlaCar signed a partnership with Axa in order to insure its users.[19]

In October 2016, BlaBlaCar signed a contract with GoEuro, a remuneration based on the number of established connections.

In April 2017, a long term rental service was offered to the best drivers.[20] It was the result of a partnership with the constructor Opel and the company ALD Automotive, specializing in long term rental. On 2 May, another application was launched: BlaBlaLines, an application for daily carpool, experimented on two lines in France. The iOS counterpart is launched on 14 September.

These international expansions found mixed success. In 2017, the company closed its offices in India, Turkey and Mexico. Executives said they had spent too much and hired too aggressively in those territories. In contrast, the movie into Russia proved to be a stunning success as the country which has become BlaBlaCar's largest market. [21] Overall, the company has become far more diversified in terms of geography. While 75% of its users were in France in 2015, by 2021 the company reported that 80% of its riders were outside of France and 60% were outside of Europe. [21]

On 30 January 2018, BlaBlaCar unveiled a new corporate identity and style guide. A new algorithm was also put in place to increase the number of trips proposed for users.[22] As of June 2018, BlaBlaCar had 60 million members in 22 countries and over 18 million travellers every quarter.[23]

In November 2018, BlaBlaCar announced the purchase of long-distance coach operator Ouibus from SNCF. As part of the transaction, SNCF became a shareholder in BlaBlaCar.[24] Ouibus was rebranded BlaBlaBus. In addition, BlaBlaCar also raised $114 million from SNCF and previous investors.[25] In 2019, BlaBlaCar acquired Russia’s largest bus booking platform, Busfor. [26]

In 2021, bus seats represented 20% of all bookings on the BlaBlaCar platform. [21]

Funding[edit]

In 2009, the company raised €600,000 from the founders and their friends and family.[7]

In June 2010, Comuto raised €1.25 million from ISAI run by Jean-David Chamboredon.[27]

In January 2012, Comuto raised €7.5 million from Accel Partners, ISAI and Cabiedes & Partners to develop its activities in Europe.[28]

In July 2014, BlaBlaCar raised US$100 million from Index Ventures.[29][30] In September 2015, the company raised another USD $200 million, primarily from Insight Venture Partners, in a round that valued the company at $1.6 billion.[31][32][33]

In April 2021, BlaBlaCar raised $115 million.[34][35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Voilà pourquoi BlaBlaCar refuse de se lancer aux Etats-Unis". BFMTV (in French). 4 November 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b Dillet, Romain (10 April 2017). "How BlaBlaCar faced growing pains and had to change its focus". TechCrunch.
  3. ^ Dillet, Romain (30 January 2018). "BlaBlaCar is optimizing its service for small cities and has a new visual identity". TechCrunch.
  4. ^ Möhlmann, Mareike (22 December 2016). "How people build an unusually large sense of trust in services like Uber and Airbnb". Business Insider.
  5. ^ SCOTT, MARK (2 July 2016). "BlaBlaCar, a Ride-Sharing Start-Up in Europe, Looks to Expand Its Map". The New York Times.(subscription required)
  6. ^ "About Us". BlaBlaCar.
  7. ^ a b COWAN, MATT (14 April 2015). "BlaBlaCar has turned ride-sharing into a multi-million-euro business". Wired.
  8. ^ "Choisissez le voyage qui vous plaît" (in French). Archived from the original on 3 September 2004.
  9. ^ "Covoiturage.fr veut faire sauter les freins du partage de voiture". LExpansion.com (in French). 12 September 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  10. ^ Ohr, Thomas (29 June 2011). "Carpooling: BlablaCar just launched in the UK". EU-Startups. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Pourquoi Covoiturage.fr est devenu payant". LExpansion.com (in French). 10 August 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Allemagne/Blablacar : Une équipe dédiée sur place - Les Echos". business.lesechos.fr (in French). 15 May 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Covoiturage.fr devient BlaBlaCar - BlaBlaCar". BlaBlaCar (in French). 13 September 2013. Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Vidéo Frédéric Mazzella-BlaBlacar: 5 millions de membres (covoiturage)". ITespresso.fr (in French). 25 November 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  15. ^ "BlaBlaCar arrive en Russie et en Ukraine ! - BlaBlaCar". BlaBlaCar (in French). 31 January 2014. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Covoiturage: Blablacar passe le cap des 10 millions de membres". Challenges (in French). 9 September 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  17. ^ "Blablacar rachète son principal concurrent européen". Le Monde.fr (in French). 15 April 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  18. ^ Jacqué, Philippe (22 April 2015). "Après l'Europe et l'Inde, Blablacar s'attaque au Mexique". Le Monde.fr (in French). Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  19. ^ "BlaBlaCar veut rassurer ses utilisateurs". Le Monde.fr (in French). 18 May 2015. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  20. ^ "BlaBlaCar propose des voitures neuves à ses meilleurs chauffeurs". FIGARO (in French). 5 April 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  21. ^ a b c "15 Years Of BlaBlaCar: Nicolas Brusson Talks Global Ambition, Course Corrections, And The Road Ahead". The French Tech Journal. 20 October 2021. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  22. ^ "Blablacar tente de se relancer grâce à un nouvel algorithme". Le Monde.fr (in French). 31 January 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  23. ^ "About Us - Blablacar". BlaBlaCar.com. Archived from the original on 9 March 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  24. ^ SNCF to sell Ouibus to BlaBlaCar in multimodal partnership Railway Gazette International 13 November 2018
  25. ^ "BlaBlaCar buys French bus service, raises $114 million". VentureBeat. 12 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  26. ^ "BlaBlaCar to acquire Busfor amid European mobility upheaval". VentureBeat. 24 September 2019. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  27. ^ "Le fonds ISAI croit au potentiel de Covoiturage.fr | ITespresso.fr". ITespresso.fr (in French). 15 June 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  28. ^ Moreau, Marion (17 January 2012). "[Exclu] Covoiturage.fr lève 7,5 millions d'euros". FrenchWeb.fr (in French). Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  29. ^ "BlaBlaCar lève 100 millions de dollars pour devenir le leader mondial du covoiturage" (in French). Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  30. ^ "Covoiturage : BlaBlaCar lève 100 millions de dollars". Clubic.com (in French). 2 July 2014. Archived from the original on 27 July 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  31. ^ Scott, Mark (16 September 2015). "BlaBlaCar, a French Ride-Sharing Start-Up, Is Valued at $1.6 Billion". The New York Times.(subscription required)
  32. ^ Dillet, Romain (8 September 2015). "BlaBlaCar Is Raising $160 Million From Insight, Valuing Ride-Sharing Startup At $1.2 Billion". TechCrunch.
  33. ^ Nouvelle, L'Usine (16 September 2015). "Nouvelle levée de fonds de 200 millions de dollars de BlaBlaCar". usinenouvelle.com/ (in French). Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  34. ^ "BlaBlaCar announces a $115M funding to boost its growth ambitions" (Press release). BlaBlaCar. 20 April 2021.
  35. ^ Menze, Jill (20 April 2021). "BlaBlaCar raises $115M to expand carpool and bus services". Phocuswire.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)