To celebrate our 10-year anniversary, we spoke with one of our longest-standing chauffeur partners to see our evolution through their eyes.
With time comes change, and over the past 10 years, Blacklane has experienced a lot of change. Growing from a three-man team working in a tiny attic space in Berlin to becoming a global chauffeur company, there’s been a few key milestones along the way.
We became the first 100 percent carbon-neutral ride service in 2017, we began our partnership with Miracle Flights in 2019 to provide free chauffeured rides for sick children traveling for critical medical treatment, and this year, we evolved our service to include chauffeur hailing in select cities, just to name a few.
We sat down with one of our longest-serving chauffeur partners to see how they’ve experienced our milestones and enjoyed the ride so far.
From a tiny attic space in Charlottenberg to a five-story restored former factory in Schöneberg, Blacklane has called four offices home over the past 10 years.
Andreas Wagner, one of our chauffeur partners in Vienna who’s been working with us since 2012, said he can remember when co-founders Jens Wohltorf and Frank Steuer first came to visit his business.
“They wanted to expand, they had a handful of cities in Germany at the time, and they wanted to reach outside Germany and Vienna, being of course close to Berlin, was an easy target for Blacklane,” he said.
“(they were working from) A hole in the wall… three guys crammed with one telephone I think. We had a very close relationship with all of the support team.”
A growth in tech
Mr Wagner said initially, the process for his chauffeur service to be able to accept rides from Blacklane was a little hard and he was hesitant to join.
“I said ‘You need to change the whole backend so I can accept rides and allocate them to my drivers’ and they did, it took them just three months,” he said.
“I started to realize they were listening to us, the drivers. Back then, Jens and Frank were clients. They usually sat in the back of a taxi and that’s how they had this idea.
“It changed very quickly and it became much more of a system that fitted in with our system.”
A push towards electrification
Continuing with our commitment to sustainability – Blacklane offsets 100 percent of its rides and operations globally – our next chapter in sustainability will focus on the electrification of our fleet.
“I thought it was a great thing that Blacklane as a company is pushing that… and that’s great to see from a global point of view. It’s nice to be partners with a company that places value on such things,” Mr Wagner said.
Updated health and safety standards
When the pandemic hit, Blacklane was quick to update its health and safety standards to protect not just our guests but also our chauffeurs around the world.
“As a business owner, I was glad that Blacklane acted relatively quickly and provided safety standards, because I could adapt them and say ‘Well, if it’s good enough for Blacklane, it’s good enough for anyone we drive’,” Mr Wagner said.