Dijon. Marriage of Klaxit and BlaBlaCar: a Dijon success story

BlaBlaCar has just announced the acquisition (being finalized) of Klaxit. The start-up founded in 2012 by a Dijonnais – Julien Honnart – now has 70 employees. It is the leader in home-to-work journeys on which BlaBlaCar is a little behind.

Alexandra CACCIVIO
March 27, 2023 at 5:00 PM | updated on March 27, 2023 at 5:19 PM

On March 15, BlaBlaCar announced its intention to acquire Klaxit, the number one in France for carpooling for home-work journeys. If the amount of the transaction is kept secret, Julien Honnart realizes, at 34, a great operation.

The Dijonnais went to school at the Charles-de-Gaulle high school before continuing his studies in Lyon, in an engineering school (at Insa). During these five years of training, “I traveled a lot, he says. I went to Germany for two years, then to Singapore and San Francisco, where my encounters made me want to start a business”. He joined the HEC Entrepreneurs program in 2011 to work on a project that took shape in 2012 with the creation of Klaxit.

Free ride for the passenger

“We have had years of difficulty”, recognizes today the entrepreneur. The economic model, for commuting, was not easy to find. “It is very different from long-distance journeys. Passengers are not ready to pay two or four euros to travel on a daily basis depending on others. They tell themselves that’s the cost they would have put in the fuel so they prefer to keep their car, possibly taking passengers. In other words, no one sees the point of being a passenger…

In 2017, five years after the launch of the activity, Klaxit (headquartered in Paris) is testing a new formula, which will prove to be “the magic formula”. The principle: “The driver is paid for each passenger transported, between two and four euros per trip (depending on the number of kilometers), describes Julien Honnart. The passenger travels for free. »

Who pays ? The local authorities or companies with which Klaxit works today. “We have signed a partnership with 50 cities and 350 companies,” he explains.

600,000 users, 450,000 trips per month

Result: Klaxit now has 600,000 users who make 450,000 journeys per month. It is, for short distances, one trip out of two that goes through its app. “The average journey is 25 kilometers,” says Julien Honnart. The model, in fact, is particularly suited to the inhabitants of peri-urban areas. Paying drivers costs communities “two to ten times less than a bus line”.

The goal of the union with BlaBlaCar: “Accelerate the development of carpooling on a daily basis” so that it becomes a mode of travel used “on a large scale. BlaBlaCar is a well-known brand” which, along with BlaBlaCar Daily (for home-work journeys), has four million subscribers. “Our expertise, with local authorities, will enable it to develop the activity”, limited to 1.5 million home-work journeys per year – against 2.6 million for Klaxit.

Only one app in 2024

By 2024, the two partners will redesign their platform to offer a single app. “The carpooling plan (which allows new registrants to receive state aid of 100 euros, editor’s note) and the rise in fuel prices are creating momentum,” says Julien Honnart, who also notes a small peak in activity during strikes. Klaxit and BlaBlaCar Daily estimate that they can double or even triple their activity this year.


➤ Users download the Klaxit app to their mobile phone.

➤ The driver fills in his home-work journey. The app places pick-up points on his route (to prevent him from making detours).

➤ The passenger request is sent automatically to all the drivers who make the same journey as them.

➤ Passengers are not required to travel morning and evening with the same driver.

➤ In the event of a problem, if the driver cancels or moves the schedule (because he is retained at work for example), passengers must make at least two requests to find another driver. If they do not get a positive response, they benefit from the return guarantee (by taxi), thanks to insurance taken out by Klaxit with Maïf.

Recruitment in sight

Rouen, Montpellier, Metz, Angers, Nantes, Monaco, Beauvais, Lens, La Rochelle… Larger cities and medium-sized towns are more and more numerous to adhere to the concept. So much so that Klaxit, which already has 70 employees, is continuing to recruit. Because, behind, “there are major needs to update the app and to manage the proof of carpooling” and, on the commercial side, “to canvass and then to support the communities in the deployment” which requires, in particular , good communication to reach users.

The marriage with BlaBlaCar Daily, which employs 20 people, will bring to 90 the number of employees committed to the development of carpooling for short distances. By the end of the year, the number should increase to 100.