April 21, 2021 at 03:51AM

BlaBlaCar, a travel network enabling users to share rides, plans to use its $115 million funding round announced Tuesday (April 20) to boost its travel app, according to a company blog post.

The money will be used to help the company expand as the platform sees strong growth in the markets outside of Europe, especially as a strong travel rebound is expected in Europe this summer, the post stated.

“The COVID-19 crisis has been a real test on the resilience of various models in the travel sector,” said BlaBlaCar Co-Founder and CEO Nicolas Brusson in the post. “The BlaBlaCar community-based model with a zero fixed-costs and flexible network came out as a clear winner. This additional funding strengthens our position and brings more firepower to deploy our offensive growth strategy.”

BlaBlaCar, with its 90 million members across 22 markets, has seen massive growth in bookings for carpools and buses compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to the post.

The funding, in addition to capitalizing on the growth, will also come with the mandate to seize upon attractive merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities that help lead the offline-to-online shift in ground transportation, the post stated.

In the post, BlaBlaCar is also announced the acquisition of Octobus, a Ukrainian company which has developed an inventory management system to help digitize bus supply. The acquisition will help to reinforce BlaBlaCar’s ability to support digitization for bus carriers outside Europe, where most carriers have still been using offline methods to sell tickets.

For consumers looking to take part in the sharing economy, such as taking a Lyft to the airport or booking a stay at an Airbnb, trust is important. Customers want the peace of mind of knowing their service providers are verified, while those offering the services want to know that their users have also been properly vetted.

Payment providers have been seeking more secure, compliant ways of onboarding and authenticating customers to accommodate the changing times.

BlaBlaCar Nabs $115 Million To Develop Super Travel App …

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