European Uber rival Bolt raises $110 million in new funding; now valued at $1.9 billion
The last time we wrote about Bolt was back in March 2018 when the startup was called Taxify. It later rebranded as Bolt to expand its transport options beyond private cars. Bolt is an Estonia-based transportation platform that currently operates its ride-hailing services in more than 150 cities across Europe and Africa.
Today, Bolt announced it has raised $109.86 million (€100 million) in new funding to scale its product segments from ride-hailing to micro-mobility and food delivery in Europe and Africa. The latest investment round, which now puts the company $1.9 billion valuation, came from Naya Capital Management, the global investment manager founded in 2012 by Masroor Siddiqui, a former partner at The Children’s Investment Fund.
The funding comes at a time when Bolt suffered a 75% drop in revenues around mid-March as countries across Europe began introducing lockdown restrictions to stem the spread of Covid-19. Bolt rivals, such as Uber and Ola, were also affected. However, Bolt claims it hasn’t had to lay people off to cope with the impact of the pandemic.
In a blog post announcement, Markus Villig, CEO of Bolt, said the company’s investors, which include German automaker Daimler and Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, “support our long term view and don’t buy into the mindless spending that’s become so common in Silicon Valley.”
Even though the crisis has temporarily changed how we move, the long-term trends that drive on-demand mobility — such as declining personal car ownership and the shift towards greener transportation — continue to grow.
We are happy to be backed by investors that support our long term view and don’t buy into the mindless spending that’s become so common in Silicon Valley. I am more confident than ever that our efficiency and localisation are a fundamental advantage in the on-demand industry. These enable us to continue offering affordable transportation to millions of customers and the best earnings for our partners in the post-COVID world.
Founded in 2013 by Markus Villig, Martin Villig, and Oliver Leisalu, the Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia-based startup’s services range from ride-hailing to micromobility and food delivery. In March 2019, Taxify rebranded as Bolt to expand its transport options beyond private cars.