Ride-sharing start-up BlaBlaCar announced a $200 million investment round, raised “to meet the demand of accelerated growth in Europe and rapid take-off in emerging markets”.
Describing itself as a “long-distance ridesharing community”, the company claims the round makes it one of Europe’s most well-funded startups, with more than $300 million in funding to date and 20 million members in 19 countries including Spain, Ukraine and the UK.
Nicolas Brusson, BlaBlaCar’s co-founder and COO, said the new financing “is a significant step closer to transforming mobility on a global scale”.
Most recently, it expanded into three emerging markets – Turkey, India and Mexico – where it believes demand is being fueled by gaps in public transport and the high cost of owning and running a car.
The service connects people looking to travel long distances with drivers already going the same way, so both can save money by sharing the cost of their journey. Drivers are not allowed to profit from the app.
Members can specify how chatty they are from “Bla” to “BlaBlaBla”, which is where the app’s name comes from.
BlaBlaCar’s strategy has been to acquire local competitors, and it has bought eight companies in the past three years.
In April, it bought one of its biggest rivals in Germany, Carpooling.com, as well as Hungary-based Autohop “to secure its spot as Europe’s leading city-to-city car-sharing service”.
BlaBlaCar will use the investment to support growth, as well as backing future expansion. Currently, the company says it has its sights on Brazil and Asia.
The Series D round was led by Insight Venture Partners.