A ride-sharing app
Road transport is the second biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU, creating one-fifth of the EU’s total emissions of carbon dioxide. Passenger cars alone are responsible for around 12% of EU CO2 emissions, according to statistics from the European Commission. Car-pooling reduces the number of cars on the roads, with global environmental as well as personal economic benefits.
BlaBlaCar is a ride-sharing app, which allows users to advertise empty seats on their journeys between cities, or to search for cars with empty seats. This means fewer single-occupant cars, easing congestion and saving users money. A last-minute train ride from London to Newcastle can cost over £100; with BlaBlaCar the journey costs £20. Drivers do not make a profit, but they share petrol costs and charge a nominal amount for wear and tear. The prices are set by the app based on distance.
Users have a profile, which lists criteria such as chattiness (one, two or three ‘blahs’) and they are encouraged to use their real names and upload photographs. There is the option for female-only rides, and drivers are reviewed with star ratings for passengers’ peace of mind.
Founded in France, BlaBlaCar is currently operating in Germany, Spain, France, India, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, the UK, Russia, Hungary, Croatia and Ukraine. The app has 20 million users and over two million people use BlaBlaCar every month, mainly in Europe.
The app will be expanding into Asia and Latin America next, with 200 million USD which they raised in September 2015. “This financing is a significant step closer to transforming mobility on a global scale,” said the app’s co-founder Nicolas Brusson.
BlaBlaCar has been valued at €1.4bn, making it one of the five most valuable start-ups in Europe.
Image 'Follow the Open Road' courtesy of Kamil Dziedzine
Last updated: 14th of September, 2015