Monday - Sep 25, 2017

BlaBlaCar set to be the next best thing in car sharing

BlaBlaCar set to be the next best thing in car sharing

Falling fast in the tyre tracks of car sharing, giants Airbnb and Uber, Paris, France based BlaBlaCar are looking to make up lost ground having recently picked up $100 million in investment capital.

Working on a similar principle to their competitors, BlaBlaCar is a user-friendly app that allows travellers to find drivers heading where they need to go soon and connects them by mobile phone or email to arrange to share the ride.

That means that car owners and drivers making long journeys and having some room in their car can link up with travellers looking for a less expensive, friendlier and more flexible means of getting from point A to point B than travelling by train or plane.

Founded in 2006, the people behind BlaBlaCar’s app explain that the average ride booked through them is around 200 miles (300 km, with passengers paying around $25 and sometimes even less for the privilege, making their journey in the comfort and privacy of the private car.

According to BlaBlaCar the nonnegotiable fee charged by the driver, which has been calculated by the company to only partially covers the cost of fuel and other expenses along the way with no element of profit added, means that potential passengers will know well in advance how much they will be paying for the journey.

The pricing feature, which is required to be strictly adhered to, means that drivers operating through the BlaBlaCar will be unable to profit on the rides they give which makes them stand apart from competing apps, among them Lyft, Sidecar and UberX which offer their services on the premise that car owners and drivers will actually generate sufficient profit to earn a working salary through platforms.

Because they don’t make such a claim, according to a BlaBlaCar spokesman, the company has not been the target of the similar levels as other ride-ordering apps, with a number of institutions, representing private bus and limousine services, become increasingly up in arms on the principle of a profit-making carpool marketplace.

BlaBlaCar’s unique concept, and the market share, which it has helped to generate, have consistently captured the attention of venture capitalists, and the company has recently generated another round of funding totalling $100 million, one of the largest raised by a European-based tech company in recent years.

According to figures released by BlaBlaCar, drivers participating in the scheme carry more passengers every month than the entire Eurostar train system, with none of the high-profile and massive infrastructure costs that run into the billions. And you get to chat with the driver.

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