REPORT: Ridesharing startup BlaBlaCar has raised $160 million

Ride-sharing startup BlaBlaCar has raised $US160 million from Insight Venture Partners, TechCrunch reports.

The Series D round of funding apparently values the business at $US1.2 billion (£780 million). That means that BlaBlaCar is now a European “unicorn” (a startup valued above $US1 billion).

TechCrunch reports that BlaBlaCar’s Series D round will be led by Insight Venture Partners, but with participation from business angels.

Business Insider has reached out to the company for confirmation, and will update this story when it responds.

BlaBlaCar doesn’t work like other ride-sharing services. It’s designed for longer trips between cities, not for travel within them.

Riders book trips between cities and destinations in advance with drivers who already travelling the route. Customers pay a small fee for the journey, and BlaBlaCar takes around a 10% cut of the price. There’s also a system that controls how much you want to talk to your driver. Select “bla” if you’re not feeling talkative, but you can also choose “bla bla” if you’re a little chatty, or “bla bla bla” if you’re keen to make conversation.

BlaBlaCar has been expanding rapidly around Europe and the rest of the world. It acquired competitors Carpooling.com and AutoHop in April. That brought the total number of BlaBlaCar members to around 20 million. The company previously raised $US100 million (£64.9 million) in 2014.

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