BlaBlaCar, which announces a new fundraising, wants to take advantage of the exit from the health crisis to be
, both in Europe and in more distant markets, explains its managing director Nicolas Brusson in an interview with AFP.
Read also: The king of carpooling BlaBlaCar to sell train tickets
The company, founded in 2006, announced on Tuesday a fundraising of 115 million dollars, which allows it to see it coming.
"Today, with this financing plan, we end up with more than 200 million cash, which allows us to be aggressive,"
said Nicolas Brusson. The operation values the company at $ 2 billion.
"It's clearly a unicorn!"
, underlines the co-founder, referring to these unlisted start-ups valued at at least 1 billion.
He believes that this latest fundraising will undoubtedly be the last of its kind before an IPO, for which no date has yet really been set, the objective for the moment being
"to bring the company to the end of 2022 again. profitability, growing ”
“It's the ambition and it's the spirit. After we sail, there are unknowns and surprises ”
with the Covid, admits Nicolas Brusson.
BlaBlaCar, which has never published its accounts, had made money in 2018. Acquisitions in 2019 - including Ouibus, the company of "Macron cars" of the SNCF - plunged it back into the red, before the arrival of the "Covid meteorite".
The company is still losing money, but it
"has taken considerable market shares from other transport players who have more difficulty managing this crisis because they have many more fixed costs",
explains Nicolas Brusson.
"a post-Covid phase of investment, because the cards are reshuffled in the world of transport, and it is really in our favor"
, he insists.
Russia, India, Mexico, Brazil
In its historic heart, Western Europe, he has no doubt that carpooling will start again very strongly as soon as the traffic restrictions are lifted.
“In France, the volumes are roughly half of 2019 at the same period, while we are still in confinement,” he
“There is a frustrated population that wants to travel - younger than average, as our members often are. There will be a very rapid acceleration in France and in European countries, that is very clear. What is less clear is the timing! ”
Nicolas Brusson also wants to
"redeploy the bus network very quickly"
(coaches, until now called BlaBlaBus), in France and Germany at the end of May-beginning of June in particular.
"The idea is that in 2022 we will be able to offer a bus network that is at least twice that of 2019," he
says. He also wants to start offering train travel on his platform.
The co-founder also sees further, considering that
“today, 80% of the use of BlaBlaCar is outside Europe”
. This area
, which for him begins in Poland and includes Russia, Ukraine, India, Brazil and Mexico, is the company's new frontier. BlaBlaCar offers carpooling as everywhere else, and also online reservations of coach tickets, aggregating connections offered by more than 7,000 local carriers. Unlike France or Germany, the company does not organize its own lines there under its brand, but serves as a market place.
And in Brazil as in India, the Covid-19 does not seem to discourage users.
“The idea is really to step on the accelerator in all these countries”
where activity is already booming, points out Nicolas Brusson. He envisions
“a mix of organic growth and acquisitions based on acceleration opportunities”
. As in Ukraine, where BlaBlaCar has just bought Octobus, a start-up specializing in the digitization of coach operator services.