BlaBlaCar, the world’s largest long-distance ridesharing community, today announces its launch in Mexico through the acquisition of local service, Rides. It is the company’s first market in the Americas, and marks the latest step in BlaBlaCar’s goal of bringing a cost-effective transport alternative to all those that need it worldwide.
Mexico is the latest addition to BlaBlaCar’s global community of more than 20 million members, and poses a unique opportunity for affordable city-to-city ridesharing. After the suspension of subsidies, Mexicans have suffered from a 72% increase in the cost of fuel since 2010, and the country also lacks adequate passenger rail services between its 14 major cities.
This need for affordable transport is reflected in the significant traction Rides has achieved in the country to date. Over two years, Rides has established a strong community of drivers and passengers, and has defined ridesharing as a consumer behaviour in Mexico. The Rides team, led by Alberto Padilla, Cristina Palacios and Ignacio Cordero, will join BlaBlaCar to form the company’s 12th international office. This follows BlaBlaCar’s ongoing acqui-hire strategy of using local acquisitions to recruit top talent to drive growth in new markets.
Today’s launch follows BlaBlaCar’s acquisition of Carpooling and Autohop last week, and sees the company active in 19 countries: Benelux, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
Nicolas Brusson, co-founder and COO of BlaBlaCar, says: “We’re delighted to be working with Alberto, Cristina and Ignacio, who join the long line of entrepreneurs leading BlaBlaCar’s local teams around the world. Our acqui-hire strategy is designed to give teams like theirs the autonomy they need to build on past successes, harnessing deep local knowledge and entrepreneurial ambition to drive BlaBlaCar’s continued international growth. We’ve every faith that, as part of BlaBlaCar, they’ll succeed in making city-to-city ridesharing second nature for the millions of Mexicans in need of affordable transport.”
Alberto Padilla, who takes the role of Mexico country manager, says: “BlaBlaCar has a powerful track record of establishing itself in new markets, as well as pioneering features designed for improved safety, convenience and trust. With these combined strengths, we’ll be able to add rocket fuel to the healthy community we’ve already established here. Mexicans are definitely the chatty ‘BlaBlaBla’ type – we look forward to enabling even more of them to connect and save money on long-distance journeys.”
Frédéric Mazzella, founder and CEO of BlaBlaCar, adds: “Today’s launch brings BlaBlaCar into the Americas – a new continent, and a significant milestone in our mission to bring an alternative, cost-effective transport infrastructure to all markets that need it. As ridesharing sees phenomenal adoption around the world, access to mobility is rapidly improving and the way we use our cars really is changing for good. ”