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Scaling to New Markets

Nicolas Brusson CEO, BlaBlaCar

Nicolas Brusson, Co-Founder and COO BlaBlaCar

Nicolas Brusson is the Co-Founder and COO of BlaBlaCar, a peer-2-peer travel company which connects drivers with empty seats to people looking for a ride. He co-founded the company in 2007 with CEO Frederic Mazzella. From 2007 to 2011, Nicolas was also a venture capitalist at Amadeus Capital Partners in London where he focused on consumer internet and telecommunication investments. Nicolas was formerly a Board Director at Linkdex, a SEO software company.

Summary Notes on Scaling to New Markets

  • Expanding to New Markets
    • Necessary to build a playbook that can apply to a different markets
    • Key to consider acquiring local players – BBC employed an M&A strategy early on
  • Steps when considering new market
    • Created a New Business Team to do a market analysis of new region and identify key players in that locale
    • Networking with local VCs/Entrepreneurs is helpful for hiring
    • BBC employs a dual track of acquisition and hiring
  • Building team in new market
    • It’s crucial to have local, high-functioning, and autonomous teams in each region
    • BBC uses a ‘launcher’ or captain to lead the set up and share best practices in a new region
  • Maintaining Culture
    • Every week, the company has an all hands meeting connecting all teams across offices over a video feed
    • The company holds an International week, bringing all the country managers together every 6 weeks to make sure everyone in sync and sharing best practices
    • BBC brings the entire team together twice a year
    • Created a ‘BlaBla Swap’ in which any employee can spend a week in another country
      • Helps employees that typically don’t travel to better understand problems away from HQ – makes them smarter

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