BlaBlaCar raises $115 million to build all-in-one travel app



French startup BlaBlaCar has raised a new $115 million funding round (€97 million). While the company is better known for its long distance carpooling marketplace, BlaBlaCar has also added a bus marketplace with the acquisition of Ouibus and an online bus ticketing platform with the acquisition of Busfor.

Existing investor VNV Global is leading the round. Two new investors are also participating — Otiva J/F AB and FMZ Ventures. Otiva J/F AB is a fund created by Avito founders Jonas Nordlander and Filip Engelbert. If you’re not familiar with Avito, they specialize in classified ads for the Russian market. Classified giant and global tech investor Naspers acquired Avito. As for FMZ Ventures, it’s a growth fund created by Michael Zeisser, who previously led investments for Alibaba and was a board member at Lyft and Tripadvisor.

It’s a convertible note, which means that the valuation will depend on the next financial event, such as another fundraising round or an initial public offering. But BlaBlaCar co-founder and CEO Nicolas Brusson consider it as a “pre-IPO convertible” round as BlaBlaCar still has a ton of cash on its bank account.

“We already had a lot of cash before this round and we still have more than €200 million in cash following this funding round,” Brusson told me.

Even if BlaBlaCar doesn’t go public right away (or doesn’t raise), there’s a clause with a time frame. After a while, those $115 million will convert into BlaBlaCar shares at a $2 billion valuation in (Read more...)