BlaBlaCar, the French company that connects long-distance drivers and people interested in hitching a ride, raised quite some eyebrows when it secured a $100 million round in the summer of 2014. Well, the startup is about to do that trick all over again today, as it is announcing today that it has raised double that amount in a fresh round of financing.
TechCrunch earlier reported that BlaBlaCar was raising $160 million at a $1.2 billion valuation, but that report turns out to have missed the mark by quite a margin: the company has raised $200 million at a higher valuation - more specifically €1.4 billion (just south of $1.6 billion) according to a source.
You'd be jumping up and down too.
Founded in 2006, BlaBlaCar has now raised approximately $311 million in total to date. This makes it one of the most well-capitalised tech companies in Europe, something co-founder Nicolas Brusson will no doubt be keen to bring up in Silicon Valley next week.
The fresh capital comes from Insight Venture Partners and Lead Edge Capital, with the participation of Vostok New Ventures, and will serve to - and I quote from the official press statement - "meet the demand of accelerated growth in established markets and phenomenal take-off in new markets".
To wit, BlaBlaCar now boasts more than 20 million members in 19 countries, creating an affordable way to travel between cities - which means it doesn't compete with taxis or professional drivers, but actually more with buses, long-distance trains and even air travel.
BlaBlaCar founder and CEO Frédéric Mazzella, comments:
“It has been exhilarating to see our vision resonate with so many people globally, as BlaBlaCar’s community has rapidly scaled and flourished in every new market. We’ve built a unique activity based on the values of true sharing, and this funding will help unleash even more of its potential over the coming years.”
BlaBlaCar is now available across three continents, including in big emerging markets such as Turkey, India and Mexico. It made a huge move earlier this year when it acquired its biggest rival in Europe, Carpooling.com, consolidating the space and locking it up in a lot of regions.
Currently, the company says it has its sights on Brazil, Asia and additional markets in Latin America. No word on the United States, yet.