It seems like nothing can stop BlaBlaCar. The company has been building a global ride-sharing marketplace for long distance rides. And it’s working, as it recently raised €180 million at an insane valuation of €1.4 billion (or $200 million at a $1.6 billion valuation). That’s why we are excited to announce that Nicolas Brusson will join us on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt London on December 7-8, 2015.
You may remember that I interviewed BlaBlaCar CEO Frédéric Mazzella last year at Disrupt London. He told us the company’s 10-year journey and the impressive $100 million funding round.
This time, we are very lucky to get to know another BlaBlaCar co-founder with Nicolas Brusson. As the COO Brusson has been essential when it comes to the company’s fundraising efforts over the past few years. It will also be a great opportunity to learn more about how BlaBlaCar works — the company has been scaling very quickly over the past couple of years.
BlaBlaCar connects people with empty seats with riders. Drivers can make a bit of money while riders can travel for cheap. Like Airbnb, the company takes a small cut on every ride (currently around 15-20 percent).
And the platform is now available in 19 countries, including in non-European countries, such as India and Mexico. The company also acquired its biggest competitor Carpooling.com and its 6 million members. BlaBlaCar now reports 20 million registered users.
The company also fosters growth using acqui-hires in new markets. In many countries, BlaBlaCar first acquired a local competitor and turned its headquarter into BlaBlaCar’s local office. This aggressive strategy is key to the company’s growth rate. And it’s become increasingly more difficult to name BlaBlaCar competitors now that the French company have been acquiring them all.
But it wasn’t always easy. BlaBlaCar’s original website Covoiturage.fr opened in 2004, and it wasn’t an overnight success. Persistence was the right move and it is paying off ten years later. That’s the main reason why the BlaBlaCar team is so hungry and opening new countries so quickly. There is no time, because the company has already been around for years.
What was the tipping point for BlaBlaCar and what’s next now that the company has a lot of money in its bank account? We’ll find out at Disrupt London. Other speakers include Eileen Burbidge, Thierry Henry, TransferWise’s Taavet Hinrikus, Klaus Hommels, Postmates’ Bastian Lehmann and more.
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