BlaBlaCar to Seek Private Funds at $1 Billion Valuation

Carl Icahn
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Comuto SA’s BlaBlaCar, a carpool platform that connects drivers with passengers, is seeking new financing that would value the company at more than $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The people asked not to be identified discussing private information. This would be BlaBlaCar’s fourth round of financing, after raising $110 million from venture capital backers including Accel Partners and Index Ventures.

Car-booking applications have been on a fundraising clip, trying to garner as much capital as possible to continue expanding their networks and grabbing market share. Uber Technologies Inc., the San Francisco-based car-booking startup, is planning to raise funds at a $50 billion valuation, people familiar with the situation said last month, while Lyft Inc. received a new investment from billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

BlaBlaCar, based in Paris, helps drivers coordinate rides with passengers looking to travel between cities. When users sign up for rides through BlaBlaCar, they can choose how chatty they are based on three levels: Bla, BlaBla or BlaBlaBla. The drivers don’t make any profit, but share the costs with the passenger. BlaBlaCar takes a 10 percent commission on each ride.

Kevin Deniau, a spokesman for BlaBlaCar, declined to comment.

In April, BlaBlaCar acquired Carpooling.com GmbH and Autohop for an undisclosed amount, the company said in an e-mailed statement. The transaction gave the combined company 20 million members in 18 markets, according to the statement.

More than 2 million people every month use BlaBlaCar, which operates in 19 countries, the company says on its website. BlaBlaCar was founded in 2006 by Frederic Mazzella, previously a scientific researcher at NASA.

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