BlaBlaCar has eight million users in Ukraine, with one million monthly active riders
BlaBlaCar celebrates its 15th anniversary in the market. For this period, the company became the world-largest carpooling and bus drive platform; it is available in 22 countries and has over 100 million users. Such growth of BlaBlaCar became possible thanks to quick expansion in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and Latin America because the total number of users in 2018 was 50% less.
“When BlaBlaCar was created, social networks barely existed, and smartphones were not that smart, so people were doubtful that carpooling could ever work at scale. Today one hundred million members are sharing their journeys and enabling a travel solution uniquely suited to society’s most pressing environmental and social issues. I can’t thank our members and team enough for this collective achievement,” says Frédéric Mazzella, President and Co-Founder of BlaBlaCar.
Development in Ukraine
Ukraine is a huge market for the company — BlaBlaCar has eight million users in Ukraine. The average travel distance is about 280 km inside Ukraine and about 800 km for international travel. In Ukraine, the average number of monthly active riders is about one million people, and, as the company assures, it is a big figure.
Today Ukraine is one of the key markets for BlaBlaCar. It is perspective for the company, so it continues to invest in Ukraine. In 2019, the company acquired the Ukrainian bus ticket operator Busfor. In April 2021, BlaBlaCar acquired the cloud platform for bus passenger traffic automation Octobus. By purchasing Octopus, the company sped up the digitalization of bus drives in Eastern Europe where this platform used to work and in other markets where BlaBlaCar is available.
“This milestone shows that carpooling is now mainstream. Looking forward, we are doubling down on innovation to power smarter matching allowing travellers to find a ride from anywhere to virtually everywhere. We’re also accelerating the digitalisation of long-distance buses outside of Europe, thereby becoming the one-stop shop for shared road transport. Millions of empty seats are still wasted, and waiting to be shared. We’re dedicated to using technology to make travel more efficient and friendly,” Nicolas Brusson, CEO & Co-Founder of BlaBlaCar.
Spring 2021, BlaBlaCar announced a new engineering hub in Kyiv. Like in Paris, a big-size technical development team is located in the Ukrainian capital. Currently, they work on a bus marketplace. There are 70 workers at the moment, and they expect to grow up to 100 by the end of 2021.
This year, BlaBlaCar also plans to run in Ukraine carpooling drives monetization. Now they earn only from selling the bus tickets:
“Carpooling is not monetized yet, and it is a part of our strategy. We always used to invest for several years to create desired liquidity. The Ukrainian market is about to run monetization, and we will start this year. We will not share any details yet. But almost all Western European markets are already monetized,” a company representative said.
Among BlaBlaCar’s priority goals for 2022 is to expand to Latin American markets, namely Brazil. Also, the company wants to increase the number of partner bus carriers in those markets.
Speaking of Ukraine, the company will continue to invest in the engineering hub, platform, and bus market digitalization.