BlaBlaCar, Europe’s foremost ride sharing company, was founded by Frederic in 2006. An online market place where drivers “sell” seats in their cars for long distance rides, it allowed the drivers to cover their motoring costs and passengers access to cheaper travel. Headquartered in Paris, France, BlaBlaCar operated in 12 countries throughout Europe with offices in Poland, Italy, Russia, Germany, the UK, and Spain with 150 full time staff. In July 2014 the company had closed its series C round of funding for $100million – the largest Venture Capital round by a French startup of all time.
This latest round of funding would take the company to new heights. However, further expansion also meant new challenges and opportunities beyond Europe where the company’s operations were so far focused. Nicolas Brusson, co-founder and COO debated which new markets to target and the mode of entry, while Francis Nappez, co-founder and CTO, focused on the technical challenges of entering new geographies and coping with the increased traffic and the overall robustness of the mobile and web platforms. For Frédéric his main concern was how the company culture and organisation could be maintained as the company expanded.
The case allows an integrated coverage of most elements of a core strategy course, including: industry analysis, competitive advantage, business models, company value chain, platform dynamics and positive feedback, acquisitions and global expansion. For entrepreneurship, it covers the founding and scaling of a new venture.
- Sharing economy
- Global expansion
- Platform strategy
- Green business
- Competitive strategy
- Business models