BlaBlaCar

Comuto SA
TypePrivately held company
Industrytransport Edit this on Wikidata
Founded16 September 2006; 17 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 approx. (2015)
Members90 million (2021)
Number of employees
600
Websitewww.blablacar.com

BlaBlaCar is an online marketplace for carpooling headquartered in Paris. Its website and mobile apps connect drivers and passengers willing to travel together between cities and share the cost of the journey, in exchange for a commission of between 18% and 21%. It also operates BlaBlaBus, an intercity bus service. The platform has 26 million active members and is available Europe and Latin America.

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.

History

In December 2003, Frédéric Mazzella wanted to travel from Paris to visit his family in the French countryside for Christmas but he did not own a car and the trains were fully booked. After his sister made a 150-kilometer detour to collect him, he noticed that most cars going in his direction did not have any passengers. During nights and weekends, he began working on creating a concept to address the issue. In 2006, he bought a website called Covoiturage.fr, French for "carpooling", created in 2004. By September 2008, it was the largest carpool website in France.

In 2009, it launched a Spanish version of the site under the name of Comuto.es. Throughout the year, it opened carpool services for companies and cities, such as MAIF, IKEA, Vinci Park, RATP, Carrefour, and the city of Montrouge.

In December 2009, the company launched its mobile app.

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

In June 2012, an online reservation service was added to Covoiturage.fr. 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. Covoiturage.fr was re-branded BlaBlaCar.fr.

By December 2013, BlaBlaCar had 5 million members.

In January 2014, BlaBlaCar was introduced in Ukraine and Russia.

In September 2014 , the service had 10 million users.

In January 2015, BlaBlaCar expanded to India. The company bought multiple competitors, including Carpooling in Germany, Autohop in eastern Europe, and Rides in Mexico, expanding to Latin America.

In 2015, the company had 290 employees on three continents and 20 million users in 19 countries. In May 2015, BlaBlaCar signed a partnership with Axa to insure its users, launching BlaBlaSure in May 2018.

In April 2017, a long term rental service was offered to the best drivers. It was the result of a partnership with the constructor Opel and ALD Automotive, specializing in long term rental.

On 2 May 2017, BlaBlaLines, an application for daily carpool, was launched in France.

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. 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.

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.

In April 2018, the company acquired Less, which launched four months earlier.

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. Ouibus was rebranded BlaBlaBus and BlaBlaCar also raised $114 million from SNCF and previous investors. In 2019, BlaBlaCar acquired Russia’s largest bus booking platform, Busfor.

In April 2021, the company acquired Octobus, a Ukrainian company that develops software for bus operators to manage their finances and ticket sales.

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

In March 2023, the company acquired Klaxit, a French startup enabling carpools on work commutes.

Funding

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

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

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

In July 2014, BlaBlaCar raised US$100 million from Index Ventures. In September 2015, the company raised US$200 million, primarily from Insight Venture Partners, in a round that valued the company at $1.6 billion.

In April 2021, BlaBlaCar raised $115 million.


This page was last updated at 2023-10-31 09:30 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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