French carpooling firm BlaBlaCar bids to acquire Ouibus

French carpooling firm BlaBlaCar bids to acquire Ouibus

Long distance carpooling platform BlaBlaCar is bidding to acquire French bus operator Ouibus.

The offer came as the firm revealed a €101 million investment involving French rail company SNCF and existing BlaBlaCar investors.

SNCF and BlaBlaCar will look to build an intermodal travel solution in France, spanning carpooling and buses together with trains.

Adding Ouibus, an SNFC subsidiary, would allow BlaBlaCar to broaden its mobility offer beyond carpooling for the first time.

Ouibus has a bus network connecting 300 large cities in France and other countries in Europe, and has transported more than 12 million passengers.

BlaBlaCar connects more than 30,000 meeting points across France alone.

By combining the two complementary travel options, the company will further develop shared mobility by offering a door-to-door solution for travellers.

The acquisition would enable BlaBlaCar to widen its offer, which will also be open to other local bus partners and operators across Europe.

It would increase its ability to address differing travel needs such as advance and last-minute booking, price sensitivity and destination granularity.

The platform expects significant cross-selling, benefiting casual car drivers wishing to share their rides as well as bus partners distributing trips on BlaBlaCar.

Nicolas Brusson, co-founder and CEO of BlaBlaCar, said: “We are excited to consider joining forces with the OuiBus team to enable travellers to find diverse mobility solutions on BlaBlaCar that suit their range of needs.

“This project supports our ambition to grow a broad mobility offer across Europe, combining cars and buses.

“The collaboration with SNCF would also be a promising turning point in the development of intermodal and door-to-door mobility, a common ambition which we are uniquely positioned to deliver together.”

SNCF president Guillaume Pepy, added: “We are convinced that to offer more trains, we need to offer more than trains. We need to be able to offer our travellers the possibility to go from departure point to destination, by combining sustainable modes of transport with a railway backbone.

“This joint project aims to make our customers’ journeys easier, and reduce the single occupancy of cars on the road.”

Ouibus CEO Roland de Barbentane said: “This is an exciting time in the history of Ouibus, and a project that could take us further in our international expansion.

“We are very proud to hit the road at BlaBlaCar’s side. They have been pioneering a new vision of mobility for more than ten years, and have played a huge part in taking French innovation to the world.”

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