Mail.Ru Group surrenders carpooling activity to global leader BlaBlaCar

BlaBlaCar, the carpooling giant born in France, is consolidating its leadership on the Russian market with the acquisition of BeepCar, a competing service launched by Mail.Ru Group last year. The terms of the deals are expected to be disclosed in Mail.Ru Group’s next reports.

BeepCar traffic will be redirected to BlaBlaCar “as of this autumn,” while Mail.Ru Group will “continue to focus on developing its larger verticals: food delivery, classifieds, cross-border trade,” the LSE-listed group stated.

As part of the partnership, BlaBlaCar will use Mail.Ru Group’s platforms to further promote its service. Among the group’s properties are leading social networks VK (Vkontakte) and OK (Odnoklassniki) as well as a major webmail service and a variety of other resources.

“Through this acquisition, we’re doubling down our commitment to offer an ever more reliable carpooling service in Russia and address the demand of millions of Russians for convenient and efficient long-distance mobility solution,” stated BlaBlaCar’s co-founder and CEO Nicolas Bruisson.

Mail.Ru Group claims that the BeepCar service has seen “very solid growth in both users and booked rides” since its launch in March 2017, with total app installs exceeding 5 million across Russia in Q2 2018.

The French startup entered the Russian and Ukrainian markets in 2014 through the acquisition of Ukrainian site Podorozhniki. Activity in Russia quickly reached a “phenomenal level,” as stated by Bruisson in a past interview – to such an extent that BlaBlaCar, in addition to asserting itself as the market leader in Russia, saw this country become its largest market, even before France. Thus, BlaBlaCar claims to serve over 15 million members in the country out of a global community of 65 million members.

BlaBlaCar also received a €21.3 million euro capital injection from Baring Vostok, a leading Russian private equity firm, in 2016.

See the full scoop over at East-West Digital News: