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When it comes to transportation, people these days prefer ride-sharing services to owning or leasing vehicles. The prime reason being reduced cost and responsibilities of owning a vehicle. Eventually, these alternative transportation methods have been gaining momentum recently and have become highly common across the world.
At this point of time, when ride-sharing is popular, BlaBlaCar, which is France-based online marketplace for carpooling has made its second acquisition this year. BeepCar, the ride-sharing giant from Russia announced that it has been acquired by BlaBlaCar from Mail.ru. BeepCar was launched last year by Mail.ru.
After the acquisition, it is said that BlaBlaCar will take complete ownership of BeepCar. But the company stated that it has partnered with various Mail.ru platforms such as search engines, ecommerce portals, social networking sites and instant messaging to promote the carpooling services. While the amount involved in the acquisition remains unknown as yet, it looks like Mail.ru will be paid for the online advertising.
Amid the acquisition, we at Silicon Canals have come up with 5 things you should know about BlaBlaCar, the carpooling platform on an expansion spree.
#1 A heavily funded French startup
Founded in 2006, BlaBlaCar is one of the heavily funded startups having received around €304 million in several funding rounds. The company received the highest single funding of €200 million in 2015. Reportedly, BlaBlaCar is touted to be a market leader in Russia, where it started its operations in 2014. With the latest acquisition, it looks like the position will be strengthened further as BeepCar is said to have bagged over 5 million app downloads in Q2 this year.
#2 Community-centric enterprise
BlaBlaCar is a community-centric enterprise. The carpooling platform does not let drivers make profit from the service. This serves dual purposes – excludes greedy drivers and avoids additional insurance costs of vehicles. The platform estimates the distance of each journey and provides a fair price for the driver to demand from each passenger. There is a maximum price above which the commuters cannot be charged.
#3 Exists in 21 countries
As of this year, BlaBlaCar operates in 21 countries. Most countries are in Europe including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Holland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, and Slovakia. When it comes outside of Europe, BlaBlaCar has established its footprint in markets such as India, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico. The international presence has been made possible through acquiring ride-hailing companies in the respective markets.
#4 Aimed at long-distance ride-sharing
BlaBlaCar is touted to be a leading long-distance carpooling service. It offers a convenient and reliable long-distance mobility solution. The platform lets users benefit long-distance carpooling by connecting car drivers with empty seats with commuters looking for a ride with over 300 kms average distances.
#5 BlaBlaLines carpooling app
The long-distance carpooling platform BlaBlaCar came up with a new app called BlaBlaLines that lets commuters share trips of shorter distances. With BlaBlaLines, commuters no longer have to depend on the calendar constraints of a neighbour or colleague. The app automatically matches the driver and passengers so that the latter don’t face the hassle of contacting several drivers.
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