BlaBlaCar opens its wallet to strengthen itself on home-to-work journeys. The company announced Tuesday the upcoming acquisition of the home-to-work carpooling platform Klaxit, number one in France in this niche still little developed although growing.
Building on its phenomenal success in long-distance carpooling, BlaBlaCar launched in 2018 in commuting by launching the BlaBlaLines application, renamed BlaBlaCar Daily in 2021. Klaxit, originally WayzUp, has been present in this market since 2014, of which it became the leader with the acquisition in 2019 of iDVROOM, a competing platform of SNCF.
Partnerships with companies
"With this proposed acquisition, BlaBlaCar wishes to integrate Klaxit's activity in a complementary way to BlaBlaCar Daily, in the segment of services to communities and businesses," says the group. Klaxit has indeed founded its business model by forging partnerships with companies, which offer carpooling services to their employees, and local authorities, which subsidize carpooling trips. The general idea is to subsidize travel by offering them to passengers while paying the driver (who receives from 1.50 to 4 euros per passenger).
BlaBlaCar intends to "sustain this model in the long term" by relying on its brand and "its unique expertise in user experience, with the common goal of converting even more motorists to carpooling". The company wants to create a single application "by 2024". In the meantime, the two products will coexist, especially since the acquisition has yet to be finalized.
A market still "quite small"
Klaxit enabled 2.6 million trips in 2022 in France – half of the trips recorded by carpooling, and BlaBlaCar Daily 1.5 million. "The market is quite small at the bottom," since carpooling enthusiasts on a daily basis make several dozen trips a year, notes Nicolas Brusson, the general manager of BlaBlaCar.
But the latest ridership figures are encouraging, boosted by rising fuel prices and the plan presented by the government in December, which includes a bonus of 100 euros for new drivers taking passengers in their cars and helps communities subsidize travel. "The sum of Klaxit and BlaBlaCar Daily is about 4 million trips last year. The idea is to double or triple this year with the carpooling plan and with the momentum we are seeing right now. We have to be able to do x10 or x20 in a few years," says Nicolas Brusson.