Gargash Group invests in Germany’s Blacklane
- UAE-based Gargash Group has participated in the Series F round of the German chauffeur services provider “Blacklane”, along with Mercedes-Benz Mobility.
- Founded in 2011 by Frank Steuer and Jens Wohltorf, Blacklane provides its clients with chauffeur services in over 50 countries worldwide.
- The new investment will allow Blacklane to ramp up its electric fleet, set up local chauffeur academies, and support the technical and operational expansion of its platform.
Blacklane, the leading global chauffeur services provider, has partnered with Gargash Group, one of the leading business conglomerates in the UAE, as its most recent investor, alongside long-time backer Mercedes-Benz Mobility also joined the round. This series F financing round brings a significant Million Dollar investment in the double digits at a valuation roughly 50% higher than the previous one from 2020.
Blacklane, which brings a unique premium chauffeur service experience to its clients, has seen unprecedented growth in popularity over the last months. With the new investment, the company will focus on its fleet’s transition to electric vehicles (EVs) including a retained super-charging network to accelerate its race to net zero and satisfy growing customer expectations. Since Blacklane aims to constantly deliver premium standards across its global chauffeur services network while improving the crew's well-being, Blacklane has founded its first Chauffeur Academy in Dubai to ensure the highest service quality right from the start. The important Middle East market serves Blacklane as a test bed to optimize its structure and subsequently scale the new approach globally. Gargash Enterprises and Mercedes-Benz Mobility’s support is accelerating Blacklane's ability to transition to EVs as well as perfecting its service blueprint and introducing it to other cities worldwide. While Gargash Enterprises contributes its local expertise and sustainability know-how, Mercedes-Benz Mobility provides Blacklane with world-class electric vehicles optimized for perfect chauffeur service experiences. Mercedes-Benz Mobility, an investor since 2013, holds a brand share of more than 50% of Blacklane’s global fleet.
Jens Wohltorf, CEO and founder of Blacklane, said: "Gargash Group is the perfect partner to super-charge our growth in the Middle East and globally. Dubai is an important gateway for international clients, a key leisure and commercial city, hungry for innovation, and committed to sustainability. Hence Gargash Group’s expertise and partnership lay the foundation to globally ramp up our premium electric fleet, set up our local chauffeur academies, and support the technical and operational expansion of our innovative platform. The ultimate goal is to continue driving our rapid growth. This new investment round is proof of Blacklane crew’s achievements. In the past three years, we successfully introduced innovative products, thereby winning an impressive amount of new business accounts, quadrupling revenues in 2022 year-on-year, and achieving EBIT profitability. I am very proud of the team!"
Mr Shehab Gargash, Managing Director and Group CEO of Gargash Group, said: “Gargash Group has been witnessing the progress of Blacklane and believes that their strategic direction is much in line with the vision the Group has for its future. Our decision to make this investment at this juncture is very much aligned with how we see our industry evolving.”
Franz Reiner, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG, said: “We at Mercedes-Benz Mobility strive to exceed our customers’ expectations delivering an extraordinary customer experience moving ahead into a new era of individual mobility. Blacklane has been a perfect partner for almost 10 years while providing excellent experiences and peace of mind for its customers. We are looking forward to continuing our successful partnership and collaboration.”