This carpool group has joined an exclusive club …
BlaBlaCar, the French carpooling group has joined the very exclusive club of startups valued at over one billion dollars. This carpool group was founded in 2006 and has just completed a new round of funding, raising $200 million, a record for such a company, and now has a new valuation of 1.6 billion dollars (1.4 billion euros) .
This feat earned him the congratulations of the Minister of Economy, Emmanuel Macron, on Twitter, wishing him “Welcome in (very) large. ”
.@BlaBlaCar_FR Bienvenue chez les (très) grands. Et bravo !
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) September 16, 2015
“We realize that one creates demand and that there is an appetite for BlaBlaCar which is amazing. We must accelerate this growth and no one wants to find themselves constrained by lack of funding, “said Nicolas Brusson, CEO and cofounder of BlaBlaCar.
The amount collected, including from US investment funds Insight Venture Partners and Lead Edge Capital, exceeded the record of 100 million euros set by the start-up Toulouse SigFox in February.
It will probably not take long as the amount of these fundraising seems exponential: $ 10 million in 2012 and $ 100 million (€ 73 million, exchange rate of the time ie) in July 2014, and 200 million today. The arrival of this new capital should allow BlaBlaCar to press harder on the accelerator and continue its international expansion.
Carpooling long distance
Created in 2006 under the name “covoiturage.com,” the young hotshots based in Paris already boasts more than 20 million members in 19 countries, “on three continents.”
Its a system that is linking motorists offering a ride with travellers. Payment is made, with a proportion paid to BlaBla Car acting as intermediary. The cost of trips, gasoline and tolls, are shared among the passengers.
The company is now going after other emerging countries such as Russia, Turkey, India and Mexico, after consolidating its rule in Europe, BlaBlaCar now targets, from “early December”, Brazil and throughout Latin America.
“From 2016, we will really set sail towards Asia,” says Nicolas Brusson, who begins to look for markets such as China (“even if it’s complicated”) or Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. “Today when we see how it works in Russia, Turkey, India or Europe, I think that there really is no reason that this is not the case in Asia”, he said.