Blacklane credits internationalisation for rapid growth of chauffeur platform

By Travolution
By Travolution
June 27, 2014 02:02 PM GMT

Chauffer services marketplace start-up Blacklane says rapid international expansion is the secret behind a successful first two years of operation.

As it marks it second anniversary, the German firm said its strongest growth period came between August and December 2013 when it launched in 100 cities in 100 days.

Blacklane says bookings have increased at an average monthly rate of 20% in its global network now covering 49 countries.

Frank Steuer, co-founder and managing director of Blacklane, which started operations in Berlin, said:

“Opening in 143 cities in two years is an outstanding achievement and a testament not only to the passion of our team, but also to the strong demand for chauffeur travel globally.

“Business travellers around the world have been desperately searching for a booking platform with a global network that actually works.

“It’s an exciting place to be and we’re sure that there is more to come as we continue to build our team and improve our product.”

Blacklane said internationalising the business has been crucial with Customers using the app in multiple cities now accounting for an increasing proportion of bookings made on the platform.

Multi-city bookings increased from 14% to more than 50% of total bookings as a result of the expansion project.

The firm recently launched a new Smart class product in Berlin which has for the Mercedes vehicles grow at an average of 25% per month.

After starting in Berlin Blacklane expanded across Germany to Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne and Hamburg and then opened its first base outside Europe in Chicago in May 2013.

To mark its second birthday the firm released insight into characteristics of different markets and produced an infographic (see below).

- In Asia car brand is more important for customers while in the US there is a preference for understatement.
- In Asia the share of First Class bookings is twice as high as in the US.
- Bookings made more than 24 hours in advance also happen 20% more often in Asia than in the US.
- Canadians, Dutch and Belgians make the most international bookings while the French, Germans and Austrians make the most domestic bookings.
- The average distance in a Blacklane car is 30km and the longest trip was 1,250km from Istanbul to Gallipoli.

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