Gargash Group join Mercedes-Benz Mobility investment in Blacklane
Gargash Group, one of the leading business conglomerates in the UAE, has invested in Blacklane, a global chauffeur services provider, for an undisclosed “double-digit” million Euros along with Mercedes-Benz Mobility. 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.
Gargash Group and Blacklane will partner across the automotive, hospitality and mobility sectors that the Gargash Group is strong in to offer vehicle deployment, chauffeur service procurement, partnerships with hotels and restaurants, and more. According to Jens Wohltorf, CEO and founder of Blacklane, both companies will “drive business to each other, a true win-win strategic partnership”. Blacklane launched in the UAE in 2013, bringing a premium chauffeur service experience to its clients in the region, and has seen unprecedented growth in popularity over the last months.
Blacklane will leverage the new funds for evolving and scaling its product, physically and digitally, first in the UAE and later in more markets in the Middle East and globally. On the physical side, Blacklane will upgrade its local operations, including 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.
The 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 percent of Blacklane’s global fleet.
On the digital side, Blacklane will continue to build best-in-class technologies for guests and chauffeurs, from booking, over-dispatching, riding, and payment with a special focus on localizing the experience. Blacklane has founded its first Chauffeur Academy in Dubai to ensure the highest service quality right from the start.
Wohltorf added, "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.”
Shehab Gargash, Managing Director and Group CEO of Gargash Group, said: “We have been witnessing the progress of Blacklane and believe 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.”