Daimler AG (DAI.XE) said Tuesday it is investing in a portal for chauffeur services, part of the Mercedes-Benz maker's efforts to diversify its business beyond car production amid a weak European market.
The German car maker will invest around 10 million euros ($14 million) in the Berlin-based startup Blacklane, according to a person close to the financial industry. Daimler didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Blacklane customers can book limousines in 130 cities including New York, Hong Kong and Paris via a website, app or phone. The company, which has around 70 employees and was founded in 2011, doesn't provide the chauffeur services itself but passes bookings on to local limousine operators.
Daimler's investment is part of Blacklane's second round of financing. The startup will be valued at just below EUR60 million after the round, according to the person familiar with the situation. Private equity fund Alstin will remain Blacklane's largest shareholder.
Full story at the Wall Street Journal.