UAE's ALFAHIM Group invests in Berlin-based Blacklane

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Source: TechCrunch

Blacklane — the Berlin startup that provides on-demand black-car chauffeur services in Berlin, London, , Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Singapore and 16 other cities — has closed a round of €22 million ($26 million at current rates). After taking a majority stake in Havn, the Jaguar-hatched electric car service in London, in February, Blacklane said that it will be using this latest round of funding to continue expanding sustainable travel initiatives, and to continue expanding its existing business with more flexible options for riding.

The funding, which is being made at an up round valuation, is a sign of how the company is showing signs of growth after a year in which monthly revenues dropped 99% in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting drop in travel, and specifically people willing to be in small spaces that are shared with others.

“The global travel and mobility industries have suffered, with several players struggling between drastic cuts, hibernation or ceasing operations. Blacklane has taken the opportunity to cater to travelers’ emerging needs,” said Dr. Jens Wohltorf, CEO and co-founder of Blacklane, in a statement. “Thanks to this financing, we will continue to fast-track our innovation, with zero layoffs.”

The company said that the investment is coming from existing investors German automotive giant Daimler, the UAE’s ALFAHIM Group and btov Partners. And while it is coming at an up round, Blacklane is not disclosing any figures, nor has it ever disclosed valuation. Previous backers of the company also include the strategic investment arm of Recruit Holdings, the Japanese HR giant, and it has raised around $100 million to date, including a round of about $45 million in 2018.

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