Tuesday 20th April 2021 – BlaBlaCar announced today that it has raised $115M to accelerate its expansion strategy, as the platform witnesses double-digit growth in its markets outside of Europe, while expecting a strong travel rebound in Europe this summer.
The new round of funding includes existing investor VNV Global, as well as new investors, namely:
- Otiva J/F AB, an investment company created by Jonas Nordlander and Filip Engelbert, founders of Avito (the leading classified in Russia, acquired by Naspers for $4bn)
- FMZ Ventures, a new growth fund dedicated to Experience Economy and marketplace ecosystems created by Michael Zeisser, former Chairman Investments at Alibaba Group who served on the boards of both Lyft and Tripadvisor.
BlaBlaCar has grown from being the world’s leading carpooling community to becoming the go-to marketplace for shared travel, with over 90 million members travelling by carpool or long-distance buses across 22 markets. While the transport sector is still suffering from the impact of the crisis, BlaBlaCar is already renewing with growth outside of Europe which today represents well over half of its activity.
BlaBlaCar is witnessing double-digit growth in bookings for carpool and bus compared to pre-crisis levels in markets outside of Europe. The funding will support the platform’s fast growth in these markets and its ability to seize attractive M&A opportunities to lead the offline to online shift in ground transportation. Meanwhile in Europe, BlaBlaCar resilience over the past year, powered by the adaptability of its carpooling offer and a strong balance sheet, will enable it to double the size of its bus network over the coming 18 months, and start expanding its multimodal offer to include trains too.
As vaccination progresses and travel restrictions are lifted, BlaBlaCar sees travel resuming fast, with a preference for safe, local and affordable travel. The affordability of both carpooling and buses, and the unrivaled geographical coverage of its global network, makes BlaBlaCar’s offer particularly relevant, as the world adjusts to a new norm where domestic leisure travel is expected to pick up faster.
BlaBlaCar is also announcing the acquisition of Ukrainian company Octobus. Octobus has developed a state-of-the-art Inventory Management System to help digitalise bus supply. This acquisition will reinforce BlaBlaCar’s ability to support the digitalisation of bus carriers outside of Europe, where bus operators are still selling most of their tickets offline, and where BlaBlaCar is leading the online transition.
BlaBlaCar is the world’s leading community-based travel network enabling over 90 million members to share a ride across 22 markets. BlaBlaCar leverages technology to fill empty seats on the road, connecting members looking to carpool or to travel by bus, and making travel more affordable, sociable and convenient. BlaBlaCar’s environmentally and human-friendly mobility network saves 1.6M tons of CO2 and enables 120M human connections every year.