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BlaBlaCar has offered 3 million seats since its launch in India

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Ride-sharing startup BlaBlaCar claims to have offered 3 million seats for travel on its platform since its India launch in January 2015. Note that this does not give an indication of how many seats were actually booked or the number of trips which were completed.

However, in September 2015, BlaBlaCar mentioned that it had 3,50,000 seat bookings in India and was present in 700 cities. The France-based company claims to have over 30 million registered members globally, with presence in 22 countries.

Note that BlaBlaCar allows travellers to find car owners who are heading to the same destination (intercity only) and connects them via mobile phone or email to share a ride. As such, the total number of cars on the platform keeps varying. BlaBlaCar operates more like a community, where the price charged per co-traveller is limited to a partial contribution towards the cost of the journey, and prohibits the car owner from making a profit from the trip.

Interstingly, in July 2015, BlaBlaCar tied-up with IRCTC to offer passengers with wait-listed tickets the option of booking a seat on a shared ride.

Funding: In September last year, BlaBlaCar raised $200 million in a series D round of funding led by Insight Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital and participation from Vostok New Ventures. In July 2015, the company raised $100 million  led by Index Ventures, with the participation of existing investors Accel Partners, ISAI and Lead Edge Capital. It had also raised $10 million in funding led by Accel Partners in 2012 and ~$140,000 in funding led by ISAI in 2011.

Competition in intercity travel

– Last month, OlaCabs launched intercity services, Pune to travel to Lonavala, Mumbai, Nashik and Aurangabad (among other cities it does not mention), which can be booked and accessed in 2 hours from the time of booking.

– In May, ixigo launched intercity cab booking on its web, mobile web and app platforms with 250 intercity cab operators. This service would initially be available in Delhi (NCR), Jaipur, Agra, Chandigarh, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Jammu, Shimla, Manali, Meerut and Alwar.

– In April last year,  Ibibo Group launched a carpooling app called Ryde. At the time of launch, the app offered both intercity and intracity rides. But as of now it looks like they are only doing intercity.

– Rocket Internet-backed ridesharing service Tripda also launched its operations in India, in November 2014. In February 2015, Tripda raised $11 million funding from Rocket Internet and an undisclosed New York based ventures capital firm.

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