Stuttgart/ Berlin - Blacklane, the Berlin-based global chauffeur service portal has closed an investment round in a double-digit million Euro range. Alongside current investors RI Digital Ventures, ALSTIN- Alternative Strategic Investment, b-to-v Partners and car4you Holding, Blacklane now welcomes Daimler Mobility Services GmbH, the pioneer in urban mobility concepts.
With the additional funding, Blacklane aims to create a global standard for its chauffeur service booking platform and thereby position themselves as the global market leaders for chauffeur service providers. At the beginning of this year, the young company had already expanded their service in the metropolises of Europe. Since the summer, Blacklane has rapidly been expanding into the metropolises of the world. Blacklane services are now available in 130 cities and 45 countries worldwide, including New York, Paris, and Hong Kong.
“Not only in Europe but throughout the world we want to become the leading brand for on-order chauffeur services at attractive fixed rates,” says co-founder and managing director Jens Wohltorf. “Travelers from Tokyo to San Francisco, from Stockholm to Cape Town should use our online platform whenever they want a comfortable and reliable alternative to conventional modes of transportation.” The necessary funding has been provided by Daimler Mobility Services among others. “With Daimler Mobility Service we have won our dream partner,” emphasizes Wohltorf. “Not only as the leading premium automobile manufacturer, but also as pioneers in innovative mobility services, both partners will be able to profit from each other substantially in the areas of both supply and demand.” With this, Blacklane advances into the premier league of the few German start-up companies that have been able to secure funding in the double-digit million Euro range.
2013 was a successful year for Blacklane. “From the start we could see our revenue increase by more than 30% month by month”, reports Frank Steuer, also co-founder and managing director of Blacklane. Marcus Spickerman, CFO of Daimler Mobility Services GmbH is also confident about Blacklane’s business model. “Both in its home country as well as outside of Germany, Blacklane is on the road to success. With car2go we are the market leader in car-sharing without fixed rental stations and with our Mobility-App moovel we will continue to promote the intelligent linking of mobility services. The strategic partnership with Blacklane offers our clients an attractive alternative to best travel from A to B.”
Blacklane’s Business Model Blacklane does not use its own cars but falls back on a global network of local chauffeur service providers. Customers choose between three premium vehicle classes, “Business Class”, “Business Van”, and “First Class”, and book the service easily via the website or app at transparent and reasonable fixed rates. Payments are made by credit card or company invoice. “For many travelers, it is now considerably easier and more economical to book a comfortable car plus chauffeur – and this all over the world”, explains Frank Steuer.
“With its groundbreaking product, Blacklane has not only won over many extremely satisfied customers, but has also gained the acceptance of limousine companies and drivers alike,” says Jochen Gutbrod from RI Digital Ventures. “Due to Blacklane’s worldwide availability, they have significantly increased their customer base of private customers as well as business travelers and corporate clients” adds investor Joerg Goschin from ALSTIN.
Find further information on the websites:
www.media.daimler.com, www.blacklane.com About Daimler Mobility Services GmbH Daimler Mobility Services GmbH, a subsidiary of Daimler Financial Services AG, offers their customers innovative mobility services from a single source. Daimler’s brand car2go is the world leader in free-floating car-sharing. With the brand moovel, the company also offers an intuitive smartphone app that allows customers to compare different mobility options to find the optimal path from A to B. Other activities of the company include the development of innovative solutions for finding and booking parking spaces (Park2gether) and car-sharing offered in commercial fleets.
About Daimler Daimler AG is one of the most successful automotive companies in the world. With the divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes -Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services it belongs to the biggest producers of premium cars and the biggest globally active commercial vehicle manufacturer. The company founders Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz started making history with the invention of the automobile in 1886. Daimler continues to shape the future of mobility as an automotive pioneer: the company applies innovative and green technologies to produce safe and high-quality vehicles which fascinate and delight. Daimler has been investing consistently in the development of alternative vehicles with the aim being long-term, zero-emission driving. In addition to hybrid vehicles Daimler has the broadest range of local, emission -free electric vehicles operated by battery and fuel cell. Daimler willingly accepts the challenge of meeting its responsibility towards society and the environment. Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all countries of the world and has production facilities on five continents. The current brand portfolio includes Mercedes-Benz, the most valuable premium automotive brand in the world , the brands smart, Maybach, Freightliner, WesternStar , Bharat-Benz , Fuso , Setra, and Thomas Built Buses. In 2012, the company with 275,000 employees distributed 2.2 million vehicles. The revenue came to € 114.3 billion and EBIT amounted to € 8.6 billion.
About Blacklane Blacklane GmbH, located in Berlin, Germany, offers its customers an innovative booking platform for high-end chauffeur services, via website or smartphone app and around the clock at transparent and reasonable fixed rates. As a chauffeur service portal, Blacklane does not provide its own vehicles but rather aggregates the spare capacities of local partners, thus ensuring better utilization and higher revenues. Blacklane cooperates only with carefully selected and trained chauffeurs with premium vehicles. Blacklane services include both classical transfers from A to B, for example form the airport to the hotel, but also hourly bookings for customers with several consecutive meetings or stopovers. The company currently employs more than 70 employees. Additional information can be found at www.blacklane.com.