France-based BlaBlaCar, which connects drivers with potential passengers is launching in India on Wednesday. Initially, it will launch services in Delhi-Gurgaon and expand to other cities in coming months.
The Company will open an office in Delhi to run its Indian operations. The technology startup operates as an online marketplace, allowing car owners on long journeys to offer their spare seats to passengers.
The move comes at a time when safety has become an issue for transportation providers and existing taxi operators are finding hard to comply with transportation department norms after Uber rape incident.
Raghav Gupta, Country Manager for BlaBlaCar in India said, “We have spoken with the relevant authorities and they have been encouraging about this.”
“The company controls the rates in such a way that the car owner/driver cannot earn a profit. The earnings may just cover the fuel costs. This will keep commercial players including taxi operators at bay,” he added.
This is important to know that unlike taxi aggregators who have been asked to register as radio taxi operators, carpooling services in India are not bound by regulation as yet.
The company’s working model is different from other taxi operators as it offers cheaper ride than alternative forms of transport.
Earlier, in July 2013, BlaBlaCar has raised $100 Mn from Index Ventures and Accel Partners to fund international expansion. After launching its services in India, the company is also planning to enter in Brazil and Mexico.