Why BlaBlaCar thinks driverless cars are ‘fantastic’ – CNBC
BlaBlaCar is expanding aggressively, with Brusson saying 50 percent of the company’s international expansion has been done through acquisitions. The $200 million funding round announced in September will be used to fuel further expansion.
Brusson explained that he is bullish on emerging markets because in countries like India, there is a lack of infrastructure to travel long distances which BlaBlaCar can fill.
“I think for some routes in India, it’s not about being the first choice, it’s about being the only choice. Today in India, we end up connecting cities where you no other way to go than to drive,” he said.
But like other European or U.S. companies in the space, Brusson admitted that the company needs to concentrate on its existing services. He told CNBC that in the first quarter of next year, BlaBlaCar will be introducing an ID service in India for drivers and riders which will be checked against government records, something seen by its users as key for security and safety. In other markets, the verification process works by peer-to-peer public reviews.
Brusson also said that payments will be a key focus of development for the company. It makes money from taking a percentage cut from a payment that goes through its platform. But in markets like India where cash is the preferred method of payment, the start-up does not make any money off a transaction, something BlaBlaCar wants to change quickly.
“We need to be smarter on payments. We haven’t cracked it yet,” Brusson said.