Posted on January 22, 2019 by staff

BlaBlaCar founder to join OLIO board


Frédéric Mazzella, founder of sharing economy unicorn BlaBlaCar, is to join the board of neighbour-to-neighbour food sharing app OLIO.

The non-executive director will be joining co-founders Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One, alongside investors Sonali De Rycker from Accel, and Zoe Chambers from Octopus Ventures.

Mazzella founded car-pooling service BlaBlaCar in 2004 in France and has led the business to become a global success, with operations in 22 countries and over 70 million members worldwide.

He is also a board member of Trivago, the global hotel search platform, and the co-president of France Digitale, a leading organisation for the start-up community in France.

“OLIO’s mission is to reduce our environmental impact by changing our behaviour around food, just as BlaBlaCar is changing the way that 70 million people use their cars,” said Mazzella.

“It is the noblest mission one can think of for the next decade, and can be achieved through the immense power of a large community focused on a single, positive cause.

“I truly see OLIO as the BlaBlaCar for food, and am looking forward to passing on my experience of scaling a sharing economy activity to the point where it can have a real impact.”

Food sharing app OLIO launched in the UK in January 2016 and has since acquired 850,000 users who have shared over 1.2 million portions of food. The liquidity of the platform is exceptionally high, with half of all food added to the app being requested in less than two hours.

Last summer OLIO announced a $6m Series A round of financing which the company reports is being used to double the size of the team and to invest in product, including their Food Waste Heroes Programme which enables high street retailers, caterers and other local businesses to be zero food waste.

Clarke said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Fred will be joining our board. Not only does he share our enormous vision and ambition for OLIO, but he also has incredible experience successfully scaling BlaBlaCar as a product focused founder in the sharing economy sector.

“I’m sure he will be a fantastic addition to our Board and I’m very much looking forward to working together to take OLIO to the next level.”

Chambers, who led OLIO’s recent Series A raise added: “Having individuals such as Fred, with his brilliance at creating a fantastic and seamless user experience, and knowhow of starting and scaling a company using technology that allows people to achieve value from otherwise-wasted goods, will be transformative for OLIO moving forward.”

Sonali De Rycker, who led OLIO’s first two rounds of financing and has worked with Fred previously commented: “Fred is an outstanding entrepreneur and has been a true pioneer in the sharing economy. OLIO will benefit enormously from his scaling experience as they look to embark upon the next exciting phase in the business’ growth.”