French online marketplace for carpooling BlaBlaCar has reached the mark of 100 million users globally, 10 million of them in Brazil only, at a moment when it is working to expand its operations outside Europe after getting a $115 million funding round led by VNV Global in April.
Besides accounting for 10% of the platform users, Brazil is also one of the fastest-growing countries for BlaBlaCar, the company said, with 1.6 million new users only in 2021, and an average of 40,000 to 50,000 new carpooling members per week since last August.
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The good response of users to the service in the country is attributed to a large number of routes and the possibility of taking routes not served by public transportation via carpooling or even buses, a segment that is BlaBlaCar’s great current bet.
The marketplace for the sale of bus tickets was launched in October last year and already gathers 106 bus companies. The company expects to reach 150 partner companies by the end of the year when the goal is also to reach BRL 6 million and BRL 8 million in sales per month.
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Focus on the bus segment
Present in 22 countries, currently 70% of BlaBlaCar’s operation already takes place outside Europe, in countries where technologies for urban mobility have grown, driven by a transition of the market, and especially of the segment of bus travel, from offline to online.
According to BlaBlaCar, one-third of the searches on the platform already offer multimodal options (bus and carpooling) as alternatives to travel. The enhancement of the bus segment is one of the company’s goals. “BlaBlaCar aims to play a key role in the digitization of the bus markets outside Europe.”
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“When BlaBlaCar was founded, social media barely existed, and smartphones were not that “smart”, so these people doubted that carpooling could exist at scale. Today, 100 million members are sharing journeys,” says Frédéric Mazzella, president and co-founder of BlaBlaCar.