BlaBlaCar has built a long-distance carpooling community of over 65 million members in 22 countries. Since August 2017, it has helped to transport 50 million passengers worldwide, growing 40% year-on-year. The platform now wishes to complement its vast carpooling offer with buses, and become the go-to global marketplace for intercity road travel.
Over three years of strong growth, Ouibus has built a bus network connecting 300 large cities in France and Europe, and has transported more than 12 million passengers. BlaBlaCar connects more than 30,000 meeting points across France alone. By combining these two complementary travel solutions, BlaBlaCar will further develop shared mobility across all axes, optimise vehicle occupancy rates for buses and cars, and offer a convenient door-to-door solution for travellers.
The acquisition project would enable BlaBlaCar to widen its offer, which will also be open to other local bus partners and operators across Europe. It would increase its ability to address differing travel needs such as advance and last-minute booking, price sensitivity and destination granularity. The platform expects significant cross-selling from this enriched offer, benefitting casual car drivers wishing to share their rides as well as bus partners distributing trips on BlaBlaCar.
Roland de Barbentane, CEO of Ouibus, said: “This is an exciting time in the history of Ouibus, and a project that could take us further in our international expansion. We are very proud to hit the road at BlaBlaCar’s side. They have been leading a pioneering new vision of mobility for more than ten years, and have played a huge part in taking French innovation to the world.”
A €101 million investment
BlaBlaCar is also announcing a €101 million investment involving SNCF and existing investors. This investment supports BlaBlaCar’s ambition to become the go-to global marketplace for road travel.
Together, SNCF and BlaBlaCar will look into building an intermodal travel solution in France, spanning carpooling and buses together with trains. BlaBlaCar and SNCF share the ambition to develop shared mobility at scale whilst limiting the single-occupancy of vehicles, and both are uniquely placed to deliver a speedy and convenient door-to-door experience for travellers.
Nicolas Brusson, co-Founder and CEO of BlaBlaCar, said: “We are excited to consider joining forces with the OuiBus team to enable travellers to find diverse mobility solutions on BlaBlaCar that suit their range of needs. This project supports our ambition to grow a broad mobility offer across Europe, combining cars and buses. The collaboration with SNCF would also be a promising turning point in the development of intermodal and door-to-door mobility, a common ambition which we are uniquely positioned to deliver together.”
Frédéric Mazzella, President and Founder of BlaBlaCar, adds: “This project fits with our vision to offer a shared, convenient, and affordable mobility solution, whilst reducing the environmental impact of road travel. Our mission has always been to fill up empty vehicles, and a full bus produces ten times less CO2 per person than someone alone in their car. By centralizing complementary offers on BlaBlaCar – including long-distance carpooling, commuter carpooling and now buses – we will make the search for a travel solution even easier for our members, who today are faced with a wide variety of websites and offers.”
Guillaume Pepy, President of SNCF, added: “We are convinced that to offer more trains, we need to offer more than trains. We need to be able to offer our travellers the possibility to go from departure point to destination, by combining sustainable modes of transport with a railway backbone. This joint project aims to make our customers’ journeys easier, and reduce the single occupancy of cars on the road.”