Expand and conquer. That is the mindset that French ride-sharing giant Blablacar appears to have, after indicating that it has been experimenting with the possibility of starting a brokerage business that would cater to ride-sharing.
"The long-term vision is that we could become an insurance broker based on driver ratings and other data we collect about travel routes," said Blablacar co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Brusson. "We could become a new distribution channel for insurance on the Blablacar user platform. It's a side business that could dominate revenue."
If Blablacar can bring that vision to fruition, then it will certainly be well-equipped to compete in a driving economy that is increasingly tilting towards non-traditional methods like ride-sharing and on-demand, app-driven solutions. Though it's still difficult to imagine at this point in time, it's entirely possible that personal cars could become the exception in the market, as opposed to the norm.
Blablacar has a longer history than most competitors in connecting drivers and passengers. It was founded relatively early on, in 2006, with a focus—one that it still primarily maintains—on city-to-city ride-sharing. Since launching in France 11 years ago, it has gone international and offered services in 22 countries. Though it employs over 400 people and has raised hundreds of millions in investments, it remains a startup.
Depending on how this venture idea goes, it could become something much greater. You can best be assured that competitors like Uber are keeping an eye on this development.