Blablacar, a ride sharing startup, has reported to have raised an additional $160 million increasing the company’s valuation to $1.2 billion. This Series D round of funding seems to be led by Insight Venture Partners along with some business angels. If this is true, the French startup would make it the 140th entry on Fortune’s rapidly expanding Unicorn List.
Founded in 2006, Blablacar is a car-sharing or carpooling marketplace that connects the drivers with empty seats to the riders looking for a drive on the same route. Driver can make some money while the riders travel for a lesser price. The startup makes it money with the small cuts on every ride. Funded by Accel Partners and Index Ventures and ISAI, the company operates in fourteen countries across Europe, Russia and India. The company ensure the drivers and riders community are secure and trust worthy. But unlike other car pool app it does not operate inside the city but rather travel between long-distance destinations.
Blablacar cannot use the same rules and policies to function in various countries for which it has to alter and modify it model according to the country’s regulations. So it has many offices operating in the local market. This tweaking the model and opening up of offices in various countries demands lot of cash for its aggressive expansion strategy.
The European startup is planning on expansion into various other countries with the new funds. However, it does not have plans to launch in US in near future. Expanding ridesharing companies in USA can be slightly tricky. Hailo, a British company expanded to New York in 2013 but has to end up its operations in 2014 as it did not work out as they planned.