Blacklane is on the road to building a profitable on-demand transportation platform

But the company’s growth has done more than catapult Uber into the ranks of the biggest (and most-watched) tech companies: it’s helped open the door to a new raft of transportation startups.

Blacklane, a transportation-on-demand startup from Berlin, provides a template for another kind of strategy, one based on minimal outside funding, a focus on very specific customer segments and slow growth that relies on partner ecosystems to achieve global reach.

Indeed, for those building or thinking about building or investing in a transportation-on-demand startup, it’s worth considering Blacklane’s example: for all of the outsized nature of biggies like Uber and Didi, Blacklane, with around $77 million in funding, is much closer to the average player in the world of transportation-on-demand.

The message here is that for the rest of the field, and for any other founders looking at building a transportation or on-demand-distribution-of-anything startup, there is an interesting lesson to be learned about whether it’s possible to build a long-term company in this space without going large like an Uber, and if so… how.

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