business in France’s largest round of vc, European BlaBlaCar long-distance car pool service company received $100 million in C round of financing, the Index Ventures led, Accel Partners, ISAI and Lead Edge Capital investment.
“our goal is to go further than they are now, even if we still need a solid foundation.” Co-founder and CEO Frederic Mazzella told me in a telephone interview that “at the moment there are two way, or to try to optimize the business and profit, or to carry on the proof of concept, expanded profit first.”
the team chose what do you guess?
in BlaBlaCar provide market environment, the owner to from one city to another city, can be a reservation in advance. Its business model is the same as reality, make through help owners rent free seat owners to make money, a lift passengers can also be used a cheaper way to travel, BlaBlaCar will collect the 10% share. But BlaBlaCar service is the most attractive place is that it is gradually perfect, the more people use it, the more you will be found near at home to a lift of the passengers, even if you are coming in obscure little city can also have a business.
today’s news is a significant signal for French technology ecosystem, there are two main reasons. First, BlaBlaCar succeeded venture refusing to accelerate its growth, it is very important, because the French vc firms have no enough money to bring up this kind of high finance. But outside France bigger vc firms often seek interested in science and technology project in France.
second, due to the terms of the agreement has not been announced, expected to become the BlaBlaCar Criteo u.s.-listed IPO after the second French assets of billions of dollars’ worth of science and technology co., LTD. BlaBlaCar is actually a community driven collaborative consumption start-up, in other words, it’s different from Criteo advertising technology platform completely.
proved French was not a backward small place. There are a lot of talent is creating the opposite company, they also become the leading global dream.
now has 8 million users in 12 countries (published in May 2014, 7 million), have also reached 1 million monthly active users. And in the same period last year, every month only 330000 people use the service.
a revenue sharing model BlaBlaCar propaganda, so far it has not had any legal disputes. Unlike profit pattern of a taxi Uber – it’s as if to your friend pay for the gas.
BlaBlaCar key competitive advantage lies in the fact that the high cost of than to take the train or plane, carpooling is much cheaper. 200 miles carpooling average costs only $25. When companies such as Uber wants to occupy the market of urban traffic, BlaBlaCar may have become the master of global long-distance car pool service.
this is also the Index is currently the biggest deal. BlaBlaCar previous round of financing in January 2012, only $10 million. So this round of funding seems to be a big step forward, even couldn’t BlaBlaCar itself that it can get $100 million at this time.
“venture investors do before when I was dealing with financing process.” Co-founder and COO Nicolas Brusson told me in a telephone interview, “I’ve seen the first vc is in New York and silicon valley. At the time I spent $27 million in financing, because we think they will understand what we do.”
he said, “each car is likely to become a member of the BlaBlaCar. I want to avoid the European scouts model – many companies can’t raise enough money because they won’t give up too much equity, and compete deep-pocketed American competitors.”
“BlaBlaCar has a potential huge market.” The Index Ventures Martin Mignot told me in an interview. “Everyone needs to travel long distances, that is the meaning of the carpool. Uber or taxi, by contrast, only provides a convenient, and BlaBlaCar convenience and necessity.” Dominique of Index Ventures Vidal and Mignot joined the board of directors.
“we usually cover our radar for 5 to 10 countries.” Mazzella said, “when the stars are associated with a line, it means that we get the suitable local team, the right markets, and the appropriate scope of launch.”
now, BlaBlaCar, are looking at other parts of the world market, such as Turkey, India, Brazil, or eastern Europe. For several reasons, the United States has not considered – gasoline prices cheaper, urban area is too big, far away from each other factors are not of this model.
as Mignot says, this is a plundered land industry. Are you going to use your land, product and money, before the strong local competitors, to control the country’s market, it will cost a lot of work. Even in Germany, Carpooling.com is very effective, BlaBlaCar after a year of more than one hundred members.
“we through the establishment of local branch for international development.” Brusson said. “we were in London, Madrid, milan, Moscow has a branch. We made many small acquisitions because it is finding has great passion for this industry and talented people the best method. In Italy, Germany, Poland and Russia we did.”
ten years efforts behind the blockbuster
it is said, when the Mazzella tell their ideas to others, others despise a listen to. Founded in 2004, Covoiturage fr, in order to make the French customers, Mazzella had a hard time.
“from 2004 to 2004, I can say is tasted the various methods.” Mazzella told me. Three co-founder Mazzella Brusson and CTO Francis Nappez experienced all kinds of waves, and therefore can use a zero resistance of the market to solve the traditional traffic model. And this is why BlaBlaCar now can develop so fast, cross the rubicon battle, how can you not successful?
BlaBlaCar also will face other challenges, but it to expand into new market is very good, the condition of capital inflows dominate.