BlaBlaCar at a glance
BlaBlaCar is a trusted community marketplace that connects drivers with empty seats to passengers looking for a ride. BlaBlaCar transports over 550,000 passengers every month creating an entirely new, people powered, transport network. With a dedicated customer service, a state of the art web and mobile platform, and a fast-growing community of users, BlaBlaCar is making travel social, money-saving and more efficient for millions of members across Europe.
For more information, check out our super infographics here:
- 3 million members
- 10 countries
- over 600,000 members travelling with us every month
- over 1 million trips available in the future at any given time
- 2.3 million community ratings published
- over 1 million drivers
- 24.3 million seats offered since January 2009
- over 1.8 billion miles shared
- an estimated £100 million saved by our drivers every year
- an estimated 500,000 tons of CO2 saved
- average car occupancy 2.8 people (vs 1.7 average)
- 200,000 Facebook fans (350,000 including Covoiturage.fr, BlaBlaCar's French counterpart)
A couple of years ago, Fred needed a ride
BlaBlaCar was born one Christmas, when founder Frédéric Mazzella, a student at Stanford, wanted to get home to his family in the French countryside. He had no car. The trains were full. The roads, too, were full of people driving home, alone in their car. It occurred to him that he should try and find one of the drivers going his way and offer to share petrol costs in exchange for use of an empty seat. He thought he could do it online, but no such site existed... The adventure had begun!
Fred had imagined a new transport network built on people, that could bring efficiency to road transport, solve congestion problems, make travel affordable and social. With a background in scientific research (he studied physics and later worked at NASA) he saw the full potential of a peer-to-peer transport network, and the huge environmental and economic benefits of enabling a more efficient use of existing resources.
Fred put a first site online and the community began to grow organically. He met co-founder and engineer Francis Nappez. Looking to the future, Fred completed an MBA, working on a plan to develop the full potential of car sharing with fellow student Nicolas Brusson, the third co-founder. Nicolas later joined the company full time to finance and scale the business in Europe.
The trio have built the company into a 3 million strong community marketplace that connects drivers and passengers. They called it BlaBlaCar because when members create their profile they indicate their level of in-car chattiness, from “Bla” (watches the scenery go by), “BlaBla” (can be chatty) to “BlaBlaBla” (won’t keep quiet).
Fred drives the company’s vision. The idea of BlaBlaCar came from his own search for a travel solution to visit his family, one Christmas, several years ago. A natural entrepreneur, he’s constantly exploring strategic opportunities, mapping the future of BlaBlaCar, and sketching the roadmap to make it happen in one of a large number of well-thumbed notebooks. He is passionate about building a team of talented, exceptional people to empower company growth.
Fred holds an MBA from INSEAD, a Masters of Science in Computer Science from Stanford and a Masters of Physics from ENS Ulm (Normale Sup). He’s an accomplished classical pianist and prior to founding BlaBlaCar he worked for 3 years as a scientific researcher, at NASA (USA), and NTT (Japan). He teaches Internet Strategy at leading French University, Sciences-Po, is a regular speaker on the theme of sustainable development, entrepreneurship, and building trust in online communities. He was recently invited to speak at TEDX Paris, on building trust in P2P communities. He car shares regularly, including at Christmas to visit the family. He tweets @mazaic.
Francis leads the technical evolution of BlaBlaCar. Feet squarely on the ground, he's got the big picture on how the BlaBlaCar product is actually going to work. From idea to implementation, he sets project milestones, prioritises and arbitrates, manages and empowers, overseeing all the technical decisions involved.
Francis has been leading major technical development for some of the biggest names in European consumer internet, such as Free Illiad, Orange and Meetic, since he was a young engineer back in the effervescence of 2000. Working on business crucial projects like mobile carrier infrastructure has shaped his professional approach: above all, he believes in building for the long-term and staunchly refuses to ever get flustered. Weekends with Francis also involve building stuff, as he's handy about the house too. He tweets @fnapz.
Nicolas leads the company’s international growth. Naturally pragmatic, he uses fast iteration to uncover high-growth opportunities. He started his career working for start-ups in Silicon Valley during the 2000 boom, moved on to executive or investor roles, and finally worked as a VC in London, before joining BlaBlaCar full time.
Nicolas holds an MBA from INSEAD, an MSc in Optics from the Ecole Superieure d’Optique and an MSc in Applied Physics from Paris XI University. He’s a regular speaker on the theme of transport industry disruption and scaling innovative businesses. He spent several years using BlaBlaCar every week to travel between Paris and Brussels to visit his girlfriend; these days he’s in between London and Brussels, where he’s now a happy dad. He tweets @nbrusson.