The first search results that pop up when you Google BlaBlaCar are TechCrunch and Wall Street Journal headlines about the $100 million Series C, the highest round ever raised by a French startup, the company closed in July.
Headlines about the successful round extend to page 23 of the search results and while it’s an incredibly noteworthy accomplishment, the most special part about BlaBlaCar is the founders’ leadership style.
Serving over 10 million members across Europe and now Russia, co-founder and COO Nicolas Brusson credits the team’s expansion model and goal setting strategies for their 200 % growth.
BlaBlaCar subscribes to European companies’ preferred expansion model of acquiring smaller startups who are working towards the same goal in targeted markets. So far, the team’s led four acquisitions and plans on adding to their community in the future.
Often thought of as a market in itself, Nicolas emphasizes the importance of individually targeting European countries and fine-tuning your company’s mission to local cities. In addition to a deep understanding of the market, local team leaders are capable of hosting events and cultivating relationships with users making your brand more than just a name.
Although the company’s actively seeking international expansion for the online platform, the BlaBlaCar founders are adamant about meeting and interacting with users in real time. In addition to their local events, you can find BlaBlaCar’s community managers in 50 European cities on the BlaBlaCar yearly tour (Proof of concept: Thousands of members have attended these events and become ambassadors for the service.)
Final Note: Solve a problem multiple times locally to build a global solution.
Although Nicolas’ ultimate goal is to see BlaBlaCar on the NASDAQ billboard in NYC the company has an unprescribed way of viewing the future. The potential to operate in every country worldwide has led the team to eliminate a cap for their success and instead focus on setting small goals in each market that will help them get there.
While the team used to celebrate every new user (if only they were still doing that now!) five years later they remain committed to celebrating the milestones inching them closer to being the most successful global ride sharing business in history.
Final Note: The goal is not to have a goal.
To learn more about the founders journey building BlaBlaCar tune into Nicolas’ 33founders interview here.
Photo retrieved from BlaBlaCar.