BlaBlaCar acquires carpooling startup as rideshare companies consolidate
Yes, we’re talking ride-sharing again. But this time, we’re talking about a massive company that’s somehow managed to drive under the radar here in the States.
We’re talking French ride-sharing giant, BlaBlaCar.
According to TechCrunch, BlaBlaCar is acquiring Less, a less than 2-year-old, Paris-based carpooling company that focuses on urban rides, and pays drivers on a per-kilometer rate.
The size of the deal wasn’t disclosed, but Less raised $19m before its official launch last December, so it probably wasn’t chump change.
Then again, BlaBlaCar’s pockets are pretty deep…
Q: Are these guys rollin in it? A: Oui
Founded in 2006, today BlaBlaCar claims 60m members in 22 countries — they’re also one of France’s most heavily funded startups.
So far, the company has brought in more than $330m from backers like Accel and Index Ventures. Not to mention their $200m Series D in 2015 still stands as the highest single funding round by a French startup, bringing them to a $1.6B valuation.
This acquisition follows a trend
BlaBlaCar has made 7 other acquisitions in its attempt to prove itself as a bona fide rideshare big fish, including its closest competitor, Carpooling.
The company will discontinue the Less brand but bring the crew on as experts in the short-distance urban driving market (BlaBla currently specializes in long distances), and is likely to adopt Less’s per-kilometer payment model for short-distance drivers.
Still better than the OG ridesharer’s payment model: Gas, grass, or a*s.