Oct 25, 2013 Liina Hilkamo
The team behind BlaBlaCar is building an efficient and social form of transport, which they call “people powered travel”, and are aiming to make it the first choice of every traveller. Their application connects drivers with empty seats to passengers looking for a drive. BlaBlaCar team has a motto: “Think it. Build it. Use it.” In their motto, “Use it” is what makes the difference: all of the team members are avid ridesharers and, according to themselves, some of the most demanding members of the community.
Nicolas Brusson, Co-founder and COO of BlaBlaCar, how was the idea for BlaBlaCar born?
BlaBlaCar was born one Christmas, when my co-founder, Frédéric Mazzella, wanted to get home to his family to the French countryside. He had no car and the trains were full. The roads, too, were full of people driving home, alone in their car. It occurred to him that he should try and find one of the drivers going his way online, but no such site existed. He saw the full potential and the huge environmental and economic benefits of a peer-to-peer transport network.
Why is BlaBlaCar the right startup to carry out the idea?
We have a real European vision, our teams are international, multi-lingual and highly mobile. For ride sharing to become a real transport alternative, it needs to have a continental geographic footprint, not a national one. That is why we expanded very early. Now we are present in ten countries across Europe and have six offices: our HQ in Paris, and local teams in Hamburg, London, Milan, Madrid and Warsaw!
Tell us something about BlaBlaCar that is going to surprise us?
When members sign up, they specify how chatty they are on the scale “Bla”, “BlaBla” and “BlaBlaBla”, hence the name BlaBlaCar.
What has your experience with investors been like?
We are very lucky to be backed by some of the best investors in the world, for example Accel Partners, who also invested in Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify. I think three things worked for us; we were able to demonstrate that our service would be needed in the future, we had the very best team to build the project with and it was financially viable.
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