French ride-sharing start-up Blablacar has raised $200 million from three venture capital funds – Insight Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital and Vostok New Ventures – as it pursues its expansion in emerging markets, wrote Reuters on September 17, 2015. According to daily newspaper Le Monde, this amount turned Blablacar into the first ever unlisted French start-up to reach a valuation above $1 billion, more precisely a “unicorn” valued at $1.6 billion according to Fortune.
Blablacar is “connecting people who need to travel with drivers who have empty seats,” while UberPoP is linking “users to drivers without professional taxi or chauffeur licenses.” Why then is the former – Blablacar – allowed to expand in France and abroad while the latter – UberPOP – has been deemed to be illegal by a French court and could shortly be terminated by US parent company Uber?
Because the Blablacar driver makes no profit from his empty seats while the UberPOP’s does so. Either UberPOP transforms itself into another Blablacar and the competition will be fiercer than ever or UberPOP provides evidence that a Blablacar driver can, in any way possible, make some profit from ride-sharing. Will the Decacorn defeat the Unicorn?