Estonian ride-hailing startup Bolt is now valued at $4.75 billion after raising $713M to foray into on-demand grocery delivery
As you may recall, we covered Bolt back in May after the Uber rival and European ride-hailing startup launched a car-sharing service in Europe called Bolt Drive. Just like ZipCar and Drivy, the new car-sharing service enables customers to rent a car on demand for a brief period via the Bolt app, which can also be used to hail a taxi, rent bikes, and e-scooters, as well as to order food.
Now, the 8-year old startup is making its foray into a new business area. Armed with $713 million (600 million euros) in fresh funding, Bolt is making its push into the rapidly growing online grocery delivery industry.
The latest round was led by Venture capital firm Sequoia and fund managers Tekne and Ghisallo, with participation from existing investors G Squared, D1 Capital and Naya increased their holdings. The new investment round values Bolt at about $4.75 billion, more than double its last private valuation of $2 billion.
“A year ago, we ran into the biggest crisis the company had seen. We dropped over 80% as all the cities went into lockdown and ride-hailing was still the core business,” Bolt CEO and founder Markus Villig said on Monday
In December 2020, the Estonian ride-hailing startup closed €150 million to improve the safety of its platform with facial recognition for its driver and prevent accidents using AI. Bolt has been expanding its footprint across Europe since 2018. Now, the startup is branching into a car-sharing service as it looks to diversify its revenue streams.
Founded in 2013 by Markus Villig, Martin Villig, and Oliver Leisalu, the Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia-based startup’s services range from ride-hailing to micro-mobility and food delivery. In March 2019, Taxify rebranded as Bolt to expand its transport options beyond private cars.
In 2020 alone, Bolt has already expanded our scooter operations to 45 cities in over 15 countries, including Sweden, Norway, and Portugal. And with 130,000 e-scooters and e-bikes on the streets in 2021, Bolt will officially become the largest micro-mobility provider in Europe.