Carpooling.com

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carpooling.com GmbH
Private
Founded Munich, Germany
Founder Stefan Weber, Matthias Siedler, Dr. Michael Reinicke
Headquarters Munich, Germany
Key people
Markus Barnikel (CEO), Dr. Michael Reinicke (COO), Matthias Siedler (CTO)
Number of employees
90
Website carpooling.com

Carpooling.com was a carpooling service that connected drivers and passengers so they can share a ride. It was Europe's largest carpooling network.[1] It was acquired by BlaBlaCar in 2015, and the URL now redirects to BlaBlaCar.

History[edit]

Carpooling.com started as a student project,[2] and was established in Munich, Germany in 2001 by the three founders Stefan Weber, Matthias Siedler and Michael Reinicke. The intention of the original website mitfahrgelegenheit.de was to enable people with limited budget to go from A to B while addressing their concern for the environment. By sharing a ride, people could save gas and money, reduce auto emissions and meet new friends.[3][4]

In 2007, through word of mouth, mitfahrgelegenheit.de became the no.1 carpooling site in Germany and by 2008, the founders decided to focus on it full-time. As the popularity of the platform grew,[5] the business began to generate revenue through key partnerships (i.e. with German automobile club ADAC[6]) and advertising.

International Expansion[edit]

The site was first launched in Austria and Switzerland, the German-speaking neighboring countries. In 2009, following a venture capital investment from Earlybird Venture Capital, they expanded internationally in France, Italy, Poland, the UK, Spain and Greece.[7] [8]

In 2011, the company re-branded as carpooling.com and hired Markus Barnikel, a former Yahoo! senior executive as its new CEO in November 2011.[9] The economic crisis, mobile technology, rising environmental awareness and the emerging trend of collaborative consumption continued to fuel the growth of carpooling in Europe.

In 2012, carpooling.com became a global leader in ridesharing with 1 million people transported each month across 40 countries in Europe. The site teamed up with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)[10] and innovative cities wishing to implement sustainable mobility solutions.[11] In July 2012, the German automobile manufacturer Daimler AG invested $10 million in carpooling.com.[12] This was to help the company prepare its launch in the United States, where carpooling seemed to be making a come-back.[13][14] In 2013 carpooling.com has launched a partnership with San Francisco-based car transportation network company Uber.

The company was sold to its competitor BlaBlaCar in April 2015 for an undisclosed amount.[15]

Features[edit]

Carpooling.com enabled drivers to offer available seats online and passengers to find a ride. People could select the users that they want to ride with, how much space and comfort they needed, where they wanted to meet and what they were willing to pay. People could also book and pay for a seat online and drivers and passengers could rate each other after a ride. The service could be accessed from a computer, a mobile phone (iPhone, Android) or Facebook. It was available in seven languages and localized in 9 countries. The site also offered rides on train, bus and planes to give passengers a link to their final destination.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jennifer Hicks (8 June 2012). "Germany's Carpooling.com Proves Rideshare Works". Forbes. 
  2. ^ carpooling.com (May 2011). "10 years of carpooling in Europe". 
  3. ^ Maryruth Belsey Priebe (22 November 2011). "Green Entrepreneur Interview: Founders of carpooling.com". Green Marketing. 
  4. ^ Rory MacLean (14 June 2012). "Carpooling German style - How to Visit your Girlfriend AND Save the World". Goethe Institut. 
  5. ^ "Data visualization of carpooling network in Germany". 
  6. ^ "German Autoclub ADAC". 
  7. ^ Kelly McCartney (5 October 2011). "Carpooling.com Helps Europe Share Rides". Shareable. 
  8. ^ Alexander Hüsing (1 February 2011). "Oberstes Ziel ist es, die Auslandsangebote zu etablieren" – Interview mit Matthias Siedler, Michael Reinicke, Stefan Weber von mitfahrgelegenheit.de". Deutsche Startups. 
  9. ^ Martin Bryant (2 November 2011). "Europe's largest carpooling network hires Yahoo exec". The Next Web. 
  10. ^ UNEP (June 2012). "GreenUp Travel Together". 
  11. ^ Willie Osterweil (23 October 2012). "Greece's Second City First in Transit Innovation". Shareable. 
  12. ^ David Meyer (26 July 2012). "Carpooling.com hitches a ride into the US with Daimler's backing". GigaOM. 
  13. ^ Josie Garthwaite (26 July 2012). "Ride-sharing Services Flex their Muscles and Expand their Reach". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Alex Goldmark (18 April 2012). "Beyond Zipcar: Can Carpooling 2.0 Remake American Commute". GOOD. 
  15. ^ Romain Dillet (15 April 2015). "BlaBlaCar Acquires Its Biggest Competitor Carpooling.com To Dominate European Market". Techcrunch. 

External links[edit]