BlaBlaCar, which actually deserves to be called a "sharing economy" company, has a model unique from other ride-share companies for many reasons, including the fact that drivers know they can't make a personal business out of it. As it continues growing in markets outside the U.S., other global companies like Uber know they chase after very different travelers than BlaBlaCar.
Here are two companies that announced they raised funding this week, listed in order by the highest amount raised. See previous roundups here.
>>BlaBlaCar raised a $160 million Series D round from new investor Insight Venture Partners bringing the Paris, France-based startup’s total funding to $270 million.
BlaBlaCar is a ride-sharing website that connects drivers with empty seats and paying passengers to offset travel costs. It operates in 19 countries including several in Europe, Russia, Turkey, Mexico and India. This latest funding round puts BlaBlaCar’s valuation at $1.2 billion, the first time the company has surpassed the $1 billion valuation milestone. The company takes a 15 to 20% cut from the overall fare and drivers make money to cover gas and car maintenance costs while travelers get an affordable ride to their destinations. A 200-mile ride costs about $25 on average if a traveler uses BlaBlaCar, the company estimates.
BlaBlaCar also acquired its biggest competitor Carpooling.com and its 6 million members and it currently has no plans to expand to the U.S.
>>RoomCentral raised a $2 million Seed round from new investor Karanpal Singh marking the Bangalore, India-based startup’s first funding round.
The startup is a cloud-based booking engine and property management platform for hotels that aims to drive direct bookings on their own websites and cut down on commissions shared with online travel agencies.
RoomCentral allows hotel owners to manage room inventory and tackle different functions such as billing and reservations. The company’s target is small and medium size properties and has a team of 16 members and claims to work with about 50 properties.
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Photo credit: BlaBlaCar is a ride-sharing website that connects drivers with empty seats and paying passengers to offset drive travel costs. BlaBlaCar