How do Car / Ride Sharing websites make their money


Car / Lift / Ride Sharing websites are all over the net these days, and they all seem to be offering free registration, free searching, and free information on those offering rides. (e.g. BlaBlaCar )

Am I not correct in thinking that these website's major asset is their data store of people willing to share rides from location A to location B?

Yet, they offer this information up for free to anyone who registers!

How do such websites make their money?

Any enlightenment on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

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asked Oct 5 '13 at 06:48
103 points
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  • I think it's unlikely that any of the founders for any of these companies will show up to answer this question, so anything anyone says here will be just a guess. Besides, each of those sites will do it in their own way. Perhaps they're selling their users' personal data. Perhaps they're selling ads. Perhaps they are providing the service for free now draw in users and they'll figure out the business model later. Perhaps something else entirely. So there won't be one correct answer here. – rbwhitaker 9 years ago
  • I wasn't expecting the founders to come and answer :D I was hoping someone on this site had figured out their trick ^_^ It can't be advertising, cause there is no advertising on their websites. Selling data .. perhaps .. but I don't think their user base is that big (compared to Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter ... etc) to attract buyers from data mining companies. – Ciwan 9 years ago
  • I suspect it is a land-grab and they'll figure out the business model later. – Steve Jones 9 years ago

1 Answer


They likely do make some money off of advertising on their webpage but a strong portion of their profits come from service fees because they allow the drivers to charge for the seats in their vehicles.

If they charge a 5% fee on what the drivers charge:
[Since 2009]

$27 x 5% x 8,000,000 = $10,800,000.

If they charge a 10% fee on the drivers then it would be $21,600,000.

answered Oct 7 '13 at 04:19
126 points

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