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The ongoing trend of consolidation in the world of ridesharing continues apace, with the latest development coming out of Europe. BlaBlaCar, the French carpooling platform, is acquiring Less, a young carpooling platform based in Paris and focusing only on urban rides, paying drivers on a per-kilometer rate to incentivize them.
The financial terms are not being disclosed but BlaBlaCar is picking up all of the company’s assets — it mentions skills and IP in app creation and distribution, big data analytics and in-car embedded systems — and employees (around 20 in all).
Less - Mature - Founder - Firm - Criteo
Less was less than mature. Co-founded by the founder of adtech firm Criteo, Jean-Baptiste Rudelle, it had launched a beta of its service only five months ago, in December 2017 (and it was founded about 18 months ago altogether).
Two salient facts of the ride-sharing industry are that it’s generally a very capital-intensive business — market leader Uber has raised $21 billion, for context — and it is built on economies of scale, and those two forces have been leading to a lot of movement, with the bigger fish snapping up the more promising of the smaller fish, and many more startups going belly up. Less threw in the towel so quickly, in part, because it didn’t see itself able to hit the right growth targets to survive.
Less - Challenges - Marketplace - Mobility - Space
“Less is conscious of the challenges of creating a scalable marketplace in the mobility space, and anticipating consolidation within the market, the team wanted to combine its forces with an established industry player”, said Rudelle, the CEO of Less, in a statement to TechCrunch.
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