100 million users worldwide, including 20 million in France. This is the milestone that BlaBlaCar, the carpooling specialist, announced at a press conference for its fifteenth anniversary. The company still specified that it was about the number of registrants, and not that of the active members of the application.
A multimodal offer under study
Nicolas Brusson, CEO and co-founder of BlaBlaCar, took the opportunity to reaffirm his ambition to build a multimodal mobility platform, like other tech giants, such as Google which, with Maps, has integrated carpooling offers or from self-service bicycle to its route calculations. ” We embarked on the multimodal adventure two years ago, to switch BlaBlaCar from a carpooling application only, as was the case until 2018, to a service that will offer a wide range of train offers, buses and cars combined for journeys between 30 and 1000 kilometers », Summarizes the entrepreneur.
The society, which raised $ 115 million in April 2021, however, did not specify when precisely this multimodal offer would be deployed. A priori, this will not see the light of day for a year, ” because the technical work is long and we are currently in a first phase of connecting the different inventory sources, specifies Olivier Bonnet, the CTO of the company. Ultimately, this will allow us to reach the Holy Grail from door to door, with the car as the glue of the different modes of transport. “.
Another major challenge for the years to come, in which the company valued at $ 2 billion is already invested: the sustainability of new international markets. “ All developing and emerging markets represent a huge lever of growth for us and in particular in the bus transport segment., specifies Nicolas Brusson. In Russia, Ukraine and Brazil, very dense long-distance coach networks already exist, but there is no digital solution to digitize this market. There, we want to do what Expedia or Booking did in the airline sector to allow users to book their tickets, no longer at the counter as was the case until now, but on an application. “. BlaBlaCar, which now carries out 80% of its activity outside France, will also soon target India and Mexico.
An IPO, yes, but not right away
Regarding his short and daily carpooling activity, BlaBlaCar Daily (ex-BlaBlaLines), Nicolas Brusson is confident and sees the numbers pick up again after the hard blow of the health crisis. ” If we had started with a bang in 2019 with the transport strike, where we reached more than 10,000 carpools per day, the Covid crisis and imposed teleworking have severely affected our home-work travel offer, reminds the entrepreneur in Maddyness. But since the start of the school year, we have seen a huge acceleration in this offer, especially with soaring prices at the pump, and in September we recorded more than 5,000 trips made per day. »Using the Sustainable Mobility Package, the company is also in discussions with certain regions and remains confident about the resumption of carpooling activity between home and work.
And if the company of 700 employees has never hidden its ambition to go public, as a ” natural evolution for the company »Specifies Nicolas Brusson, BlaBlaCar prefers to take its time. ” We want to be listed, we are doing everything we can to have the rigor and governance adapted the day we launch, but we do not envisage an IPO before the summer of 2022 », Concludes the entrepreneur.
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Blablacar reaffirms its plan to offer door-to-door journeys