Ridesharing marketplace Blablacar announced today that they have launched into Germany, their 11th market in Europe. The company raised $10 Million from Accel Ventures back in January 2012, after they had already launched in France, Spain and the UK, and have since acquired PostinAuto to enter into Italy, acquired a team to enter into Poland, and launched across Benelux.
The news, already announced in Germany’s top news site Spiegel.de yesterday, is especially important as Blablacar’s biggest European competitor, Carpooling.com, is based in Germany (they claim to have 4.4M members, but I’m not so sure). Their German competitor raised funds last year in order to launch in the US, though they haven’t yet done so – now with Blablacar active in Germany and some of its surrounding countries, the real fight to become Europe’s ride-sharing marketplace will begin (and I couldn’t be happier!).
Even more awesome was Blablacar’s announcement that they now have more than 3 million members. They crossed the 2 million member marker last summer, which means they are growing at roughly 150K registered users per month – not bad for a marketplace who is taking commission off of every transaction over 200 kilometers.
While much of Blablacar’s traffic comes from France, where they have been growing their user-base since 2008, the other countries are starting to pick up quickly, and each time that add-on a new country, it become more & more easy to imagine sharing a car from Paris to Berlin, if you so desired. I believe that once they lock in all of Europe, they will have a truly unbeatable service which will rival long-distance buses, trains, and planes both in price and eco-friendliness.
Blablacar has been a big proponent of the environmental effects of their service – the company attended the EcoSummit, where it was awarded the Ecosummit award in 2012. In addition, the company announced a study it did on Online Trust at LeWeb Paris last year, having launched a campaign called TrustMan, which demonstrated how the completeness of an online profile can affect the level of trust a user might have in that profile.
For users in Germany, I suggest you give the service a try – Blablacar is particularly well-known for their smooth UX and product experience, having worked to make sure their iPhone and Android user experiences were very fulfilling. Go ahead, try it out now and let me know what you think below!