BlaBlaCar

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Comuto SA
Privately held company
Founded September 16, 2006; 11 years ago (2006-09-16)
Founder Frédéric Mazzella
Francis Nappez
Nicolas Brusson
Headquarters Paris, France
Area served
France, Spain, United-Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, India, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Slovakia, Mexico, and Brazil
Services Carpooling
Revenue € 80,000,000 environ (2015)[1]
Number of employees
600
Website www.blablacar.com
Footnotes / references
60 million users, including 8 million active drivers[2][3]

BlaBlaCar is an 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.

The service is available in 21 countries, almost all which are in Europe – countries include Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, UK, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, India, Turkey, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Slovakia, Mexico, and Brazil.

Concept[edit]

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 shut up.[4]

Upon creating an account, members set up an online identity, and after leaving comments on their experiences with other members, develop a reputation.[5]

The company does not own any vehicles; it is a broker which receives a 12% commission from every booking.[6] Connections were free between users at first but it ended in 2011. It represented 20% of the cost.

History[edit]

In 2004, Vincent Caron bought the domain name Covoiturage.fr and launched the first version of the site Covoiturage.fr.[7] In 2006, the domain name is sold to Frédéric Mazzella. He proceeded to create the company Comuto which will become the company owner of every car-pool sites.

In August 2008, Comuto launched the second version of the web site. The new version includes a community aspect allowing public recommendation, profiles and biographies. Covoiturage.fr is both a travel web site and a community web site. As early as September 2008, Covoiturage.fr became the number one web site of carpool in France.[8]

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, the android counterpart had to wait February 2010.

In June 2011, Comuto introduced BlaBlaCar.com in the United-Kingdom.

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.[9] 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 in Italia, Portugal, Poland, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium.

In April 2013, BlaBlaCar is launched in Germany[10] where many other carpool sites already exist. On the 29th of April, Covoiturage.fr is re-branded BlaBlaCar.fr[11] in order to unify all the sites under one name. At the end of the year, BlaBlaCar revealed that they have 5 million members[12] with 1 million monthly active users spread through 10 countries.

In January 2014, BlaBlaCar is introduced in Ukraine and Russia,[13] the company strongly considered Brazil as the next step. In September, the service had 10 million users.

In January 2015, BlaBlaCar expanded to India. The company buys multiple competitors : Carpooling in Germany,[14] Autohop in eastern Europe and Rides in Mexico. The last operation allowed the company to set foot in the American continent, particularly in Mexico.[15] At this time, the company had 290 employees on three continents and 20 million users in 19 countries. On the 18th of May, BlaBlaCar signed a partnership with Axa in order to insure its users.[16]

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 is offered to the best drivers.[17] It is the result of a partnership with the constructor Opel and the company ALD Automotive, specialized in long term rental. On the 2nd of May, another application is launched : BlaBlaLines, an application for daily carpool, experimented on two lines in France. The iOS counterpart is launched on the 14th of September.

On the 30th of January 2018, BlaBlaCar gave itself a new look with a new corporate identity and style guide. A new algorithm is also put in place in order to increase the number of trips proposed for users.[18] As of June 2018 BlaBlaCar claimed to have "60 million members in 22 countries and over 18 million travellers every quarter".[19]

Implementation through the world[edit]

map showing availability of BlaBlaCar in the world as of December 2016
Availability of BlaBlaCar in the world as of December 2016
Country Name of the site Opening date
France covoiturage.fr

renamed BlaBlaCar.fr

2004

2013

Spain Comuto.es

renamed BlaBlaCar.es

2009

2012

United Kingdom BlaBlaCar.com June 2011
Italy BlaBlaCar.it 2012
Portugal BlaBlaCar.pt 2012
Poland BlaBlaCar.pl 2012
Netherlands BlaBlaCar.nl 2012
Luxembourg BlaBlaCar.fr 2012
Belgium BlaBlaCar.be 2012
Germany BlaBlaCar.de April 2013
Ukraine BlaBlaCar.com.ua January 2014
Russia BlaBlaCar.ru
Turkey BlaBlaCar.com.tr September 2014
India BlaBlaCar.in January 2015
Hungary BlaBlaCar.hu March 2015
Croatia BlaBlaCar.hr
Serbia BlaBlaCar.rs
Romania BlaBlaCar.ro
Slovakia sk.BlaBlaCar.com
Mexico BlaBlaCar.mx April 2015
Brazil BlaBlaCar.com.br December 2015

The company has chosen not to expand to 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]

Funding[edit]

In 2009, the company raised €600,000 from the founders and their friends and family.[4]

In June 2010, Comuto raised 1.25 million euros from ISAI run by Jean-David Chamboredon.[20]

In January 2012, Comuto raised 7.5 million euros from Accel Partners, ISAI and Cabiedes & Partners in order to develop its activities in Europe.[21]

In July 2014, BlaBlaCar raised 100 million US dollars from Index Ventures with the objective of becoming the number one carpool service.[22][23]

In September 2015, the company raised another $200 million, primarily from Insight Venture Partners, in a round that valued the company at USD$1.6 billion.[24][25][26]

New Socialization[edit]

Blablacar offers a new way of socialisation by the creation of a community. This community is called the Helpers.[27]

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. ^ a b COWAN, MATT (14 April 2015). "BlaBlaCar has turned ride-sharing into a multi-million-euro business". Wired. 
  5. ^ Möhlmann, Mareike (22 December 2016). "How people build an unusually large sense of trust in services like Uber and Airbnb". Business Insider. 
  6. ^ SCOTT, MARK (2 July 2016). "BlaBlaCar, a Ride-Sharing Start-Up in Europe, Looks to Expand Its Map". The New York Times. (subscription required)
  7. ^ (in French) https://web.archive.org/web/20040903012728/http://www.covoiturage.fr/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Covoiturage.fr veut faire sauter les freins du partage de voiture". LExpansion.com (in French). 2008-09-12. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  9. ^ "Pourquoi Covoiturage.fr est devenu payant". LExpansion.com (in French). 2012-08-10. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  10. ^ "Allemagne/Blablacar : Une équipe dédiée sur place - Les Echos". business.lesechos.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  11. ^ "Covoiturage.fr devient BlaBlaCar - BlaBlaCar". BlaBlaCar (in French). 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  12. ^ "Vidéo Frédéric Mazzella-BlaBlacar: 5 millions de membres (covoiturage)". ITespresso.fr (in French). 2013-11-25. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  13. ^ "BlaBlaCar arrive en Russie et en Ukraine ! - BlaBlaCar". BlaBlaCar (in French). 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  14. ^ "Blablacar rachète son principal concurrent européen". Le Monde.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  15. ^ "Après l'Europe et l'Inde, Blablacar s'attaque au Mexique". Le Monde.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  16. ^ "BlaBlaCar veut rassurer ses utilisateurs". Le Monde.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  17. ^ "BlaBlaCar propose des voitures neuves à ses meilleurs chauffeurs". FIGARO (in French). 2017-04-05. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  18. ^ "Blablacar tente de se relancer grâce à un nouvel algorithme". Le Monde.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  19. ^ "About Us - Blablacar". BlaBlaCar.com. Retrieved 2018-06-28. 
  20. ^ "Le fonds ISAI croit au potentiel de Covoiturage.fr | ITespresso.fr". ITespresso.fr (in French). 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  21. ^ Moreau, Marion (2012-01-17). "[Exclu] Covoiturage.fr lève 7,5 millions d'euros". FrenchWeb.fr (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  22. ^ "BlaBlaCar lève 100 millions de dollars pour devenir le leader mondial du covoiturage" (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  23. ^ "Covoiturage : BlaBlaCar lève 100 millions de dollars". Clubic.com (in French). 2014-07-02. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  24. ^ Scott, Mark (16 September 2015). "BlaBlaCar, a French Ride-Sharing Start-Up, Is Valued at $1.6 Billion". The New York Times. (subscription required)
  25. ^ Dillet, Romain (8 September 2015). "BlaBlaCar Is Raising $160 Million From Insight, Valuing Ride-Sharing Startup At $1.2 Billion". TechCrunch. 
  26. ^ Nouvelle, L'Usine (2015-09-16). "Nouvelle levée de fonds de 200 millions de dollars de BlaBlaCar". usinenouvelle.com/ (in French). Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  27. ^ "Rejoignez la communauté des Helpers". Blablacar (in French).