A couple of years ago, Fred needed a ride
BlaBlaCar was born one Christmas, when founder Frédéric Mazzella, a student at Stanford, wanted to get home to his family in the French countryside. He had no car. The trains were full. The roads, too, were full of people driving home, alone in their car. It occurred to him that he should try and find one of the drivers going his way and offer to share petrol costs in exchange for use of an empty seat. He thought he could do it online, but no such site existed… The adventure had begun!
Fred had imagined a new transport network built on people, that could bring efficiency to road transport, solve congestion problems, make travel affordable and social. With a background in scientific research (he studied physics and later worked at NASA) he saw the full potential of a peer-to-peer transport network, and the huge environmental and economic benefits of enabling a more efficient use of existing resources.
Fred put a first site online and the community began to grow organically. He met co-founder and engineer Francis Nappez. Looking to the future, Fred completed an MBA, working on a plan to develop the full potential of car sharing with fellow student Nicolas Brusson, the third co-founder. Nicolas later joined the company full time to finance and scale the business in Europe.
The trio have built the company into a pan-European community marketplace that connects drivers and passengers. They called it BlaBlaCar because when members create their profile they indicate their level of in-car chattiness, from “Bla” (watches the scenery go by), “BlaBla” (can be chatty) to “BlaBlaBla” (won’t keep quiet).