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French carpooling unicorn BlaBlaCar lands €100M credit facility to fuel growth

Picture credits: BlaBlaCar

French carpooling unicorn BlaBlaCar has just secured a €100 million revolving credit facility. This brings the total funding raised by the company to over €637 million.

The credit came from a consortium of banks, including France’s BNP Paribas and Société Générale, and international banks Citi, JP Morgan and HSBC.

BlaBlaCar will use the amount to fuel its growth ambitions. The company plans to strengthen its presence in the 21 existing markets, including France, Spain, India, Mexico, and Brazil.

“This €100 million of credit will enable us to accelerate our growth, while we are currently exploring several acquisition opportunities,” CEO and co-founder Nicolas Brusson, said.

“Alongside our investments in innovation, our acquisition strategy is contributing to the faster deployment of different transport offerings, confirming our leadership in the markets where we operate,” he added.

Profitability after pandemic 

This financing follows strong growth in 2023 for the company as 80 million passengers booked a bus or carpool ride on BlaBlaCar, which is an increase of 23% as compared to 2022. This growth was more prominent in the emerging markets of India and Brazil.

Notably, BlaBlaCar recorded €253 million in revenue in the past year, which is an increase of 29% than the previous year. Post the pandemic, the company has achieved profitability for 24 months for the first time and closed 2023 with a new phase of growth.

Before the pandemic, BlaBlaCar discussed the possibility of an IPO, which would allow public investors to buy a share of the firm. However, this plan is now on hold.

The carpooling giant is claimed to have reduced the carbon emissions by 2 million tonnes in 2023. 

Acquisitions by BlaBlaCar 

Founded by Frederic Mazzella, Nicolas Brusson, and Francis Nappez in 2006, the Paris-based mobility company BlaBlaCar disrupted the mobility sector in Europe with its carpooling platform.

In 2021, Blablacar raised a $115 million convertible note to fund M&A operations and to support the company financially through the pandemic. 

In 2019, BlaBlaCar acquired Russia’s largest bus booking platform, Busfor. In April 2021, the company acquired Octobus, a Ukrainian company that develops software for bus operators to manage their finances and ticket sales. In March 2023, the company acquired Klaxit, a French startup enabling carpools on work commutes.

In Europe, BlaBlaCar wants to aggregate all ground transportation methods. In addition to carpooling and bus rides, the company plans to add train tickets. Users will be able to buy tickets from next year. In non-European markets, bus rides represent the biggest opportunity. As always, it lets users hop onto a car that goes in the direction of the train station to commute in a sustainable way. 

“Shared mobility is part of the solution: BlaBlaCar has and will continue to bring this vision to everyone, individuals, companies, governments, and other stakeholders in the transition towards more sustainable and inclusive mobility,” concluded Nicolas Brusson.

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