Criteo founder raises $19 million for ride-sharing app Less

Criteo has long been named as one of the most successful French startups, quickly reaching unicorn level and even going public in the U.S. Former Criteo CEO Jean-Baptiste Rudelle is now launching a new startup called Less with Romain Niccoli, Florent Bouteiller and Francis Cohen. The startup just raised $19 million (€16 million) from Index Ventures and Daphni.

Less is a ride-sharing service for commuters and other short distance rides. This isn’t yet another on-demand ride hailing app. Less matches existing drivers going from A to B with other people looking for a ride on the way.

In order to do this and attract more users, Less is developing a navigation app first. But developing a Waze competitor from scratch isn’t easy. That’s why the company wants to convince people to use the app by rewarding them.

In addition to the usual turn-by-turn directions, Less gives you a bit of cash (€0.10 per km or €0.15 per km for instance) if you drive in an area with outdated data. This way, Less can learn more about current traffic, the average time it takes to drive across Paris and more.

Eventually, Less is going to let you pick up passengers on the way. The company isn’t looking for professional drivers. But if you’re alone in your car, Less can match you with a potential rider and give you a few euros to pay for gas.

Right now, Less only works in the Paris area. The company is going to compete with BlaBlaCar’s BlaBlaLines, as well as a handful of other competitors. Less is still a very early product, but it sounds promising.