Bolt (company)

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Bolt
FormerlymTakso, Taxify
Industry
FoundedAugust 2013; 10 years ago (2013-08)
FounderMarkus Villig
HeadquartersTallinn, Estonia
Area served
45 countries in Europe, Africa, Western Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America
ProductsMobile app, website
ServicesRidesharing company, scooter-sharing system, food delivery, grocery delivery, car-sharing
RevenueIncrease €1.3 billion (2022)[1]
Websitebolt.eu
Availability of Bolt, as of May 2022:
  Available
  Not available
A group of deliverymen for Bolt Food in Bucharest, Romania
Markus Villig, Founder & CEO, Bolt
Markus Villig, Founder & CEO of Bolt in 2021
Bolt Scooter
A Bolt Scooter parked in Halle (Saale), Germany.

Bolt is an Estonian mobility company that offers ride-hailing, micromobility rental, food and grocery delivery (via the Bolt Food app), and carsharing services. The company is headquartered in Tallinn and operates in over 500 cities in more than 45 countries in Europe, Africa, Western Asia and Latin America. The company has more than 150 million customers and more than 3 million driver and courier partners.[2] The company has plans for an initial public offering in 2025.[3]

History[edit]

The company was founded in 2013 as Taxify by Markus Villig, then a 19 year-old high-school student. Markus built the prototype of the app while recruiting drivers personally on the streets of Tallinn after receiving a €5000 loan from his family.[4]

The service was launched in Tallinn, Estonia in August 2013 and by 2014 it was operating abroad. In April 2017, it expanded to Baku and Malta.[5] In September 2017, Bolt launched its services in London by acquiring a local taxi company with a licence to operate, but was forced by Transport for London to shut down its services.[6][7] In February 2018, the company filed a new licence application[8] and relaunched in London in June 2019.[9] In October 2017, it expanded to Paris.[10] In April 2018, it reached 10 million global users.[11] In March 2019, the company changed its name from Taxify to Bolt.[12] In August 2019, the company launched Bolt Food, a food delivery service in Tallinn. It has since expanded to over 80 cities across 20 countries with over 30,000 restaurants using the platform.[13] In September 2021, Bolt launched a grocery delivery service, Bolt Market.[14]

Financing[edit]

Prior to announcing a partnership with Didi Chuxing, Bolt had raised over €2 million in investment capital from Estonian and Finnish angel investors.[15] In August 2017, Didi Chuxing invested an undisclosed amount believed to be an "eight-figure U.S. dollar sum".[16] A May 2018 funding round with a $175 million investment from Daimler, Didi and others led to a 1 billion dollar valuation for the company, making it a unicorn.[17][18]

In January 2020, the European Investment Bank signed a EUR 50 million venture debt facility with Bolt. The financing, supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), is to boost Bolt's product development in areas where technology can improve the safety, reliability and sustainability of its services. This includes investment in existing services such as vehicle for hire and food delivery, as well as the development of new products.[19]

In December 2020, Bolt raised €150 million from venture capital investment funds.[20][21] In March 2021, Bolt raised €20 million from International Finance Corporation, a World Bank Group member, for further expansion in emerging markets.[22] The company was valued at more than €2 billion after this fund raising round.[23] In August 2021, Bolt raised €600 million from Sequoia Capital increasing the valuation of the company to over €4 billion.[24] As of 2021, Didi Chuxing was no longer an investor in Bolt.[citation needed] In January 2022, Bolt raised €628 million from investors led by Sequoia Capital and Fidelity Management and Research Co, taking the company's valuation to €7.4 billion.[25][26]

Rental services[edit]

Bolt e-scooters[edit]

In September 2018, the company announced it was expanding into micromobility services. After launching scooters in Paris, Bolt expanded its micromobility operations across Europe.[27] In November 2022, Bolt scooters were integrated into the Norwegian MaaS application, Ruter,[28] and in May 2023 — into Berlin’s mobility app, Jelbi.[29] As of February 2023, Bolt has operations in 260 cities across 25 countries and 245,000 shared vehicles available for rental.[30] In June 2023, Bolt introduced their new scooter model — Bolt 6.[31]

Bolt e-bikes[edit]

Two years after launching e-scooters, in May 2020, Bolt launched e-bikes in Paris, France.[32] And in the following years expanded its e-bike operations across many major European cities.[33]

Bolt Drive[edit]

In May 2021, Bolt launched a car-sharing service, Bolt Drive.[34] Bolt Drive launched in Tallinn, Estonia, and has since expanded to four more countries — Latvia,[35] Lithuania,[36] and Germany[37] In May 2023, Bolt entered into leasing framework agreements for a total of €126m with Luminor and Swedbank to enable the expansion of Bolt Drive in the Baltic countries.[38] It had 1,500 car-sharing vehicles in Vilnius 18 months after launch.[39] Bolt's car-sharing service in Vilnius costs from 0,05 euros per minute for Audi Q2 and Peugeot 208.[40]

Other products[edit]

Self-driving cars[edit]

In August 2019, Bolt and the University of Tartu announced a partnership on an applied research project to develop technology for self-driving cars.[41] In April 2021, Bolt and the University of Tartu expanded their cooperation on the AV project, signing a new 5-year agreement designed to further develop the technical capabilities of the university's autonomous driving lab in the areas of artificial intelligence and maps and algorithms.[42]

Grocery delivery service[edit]

In 2021, Bolt launched grocery delivery service in the Baltic States.[43][44] It later expanded to Sweden, Czech Republic, Poland and elsewhere.[45][46] Bolt plans to eventually deliver groceries with self-driving robots, in partnership with Starship Technologies.[47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bolt näitas metsikut kasvu ja vähendas jõudsalt kahjumit". Retrieved 2023-07-03.
  2. ^ "Press Enquiries". Bolt.
  3. ^ Mukherjee, Supantha (May 8, 2023). "Uber rival Bolt seeks to turn profitable next year, IPO in 2025". Reuters.
  4. ^ McKeever, Vicky. "How a college dropout became Europe's youngest founder of a billion-dollar company". CNBC. Archived from the original on 2022-11-26.
  5. ^ "Estonian taxi-hailing app Taxify expands to Baku, Malta". Eesti Rahvusringhääling. April 12, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-04-15.
  6. ^ Butcher, Mike (September 5, 2017). "Taxify launches in London, acquiring a cab firm to scale and discounting prices". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 2018-05-24.
  7. ^ Seal, Thomas (September 8, 2017). "Uber-Rival Taxify Suspended in London Amid License Investigation". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 2019-03-22.
  8. ^ Titcomb, James (February 24, 2018). "Uber rival Taxify plots London comeback". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 2018-08-09.
  9. ^ Schulze, Elizabeth (June 11, 2019). "Uber's European rival Bolt launches in London". CNBC. Archived from the original on 2020-06-01.
  10. ^ "Estonia's Taxify expands ride-hailing platform to Paris". Eesti Rahvusringhääling. October 5, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-12-01.
  11. ^ "Taxify Hits 10M Users Globally". Medium. April 27, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-05-19.
  12. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (March 6, 2019). "Taxify rebrands as Bolt to expand its transport options beyond private cars". TechCrunch.
  13. ^ "Bolt Food dostarcza w Łodzi". Handelextra (in Polish). 2022-03-24. Archived from the original on 2023-02-09. Retrieved 2023-03-16.
  14. ^ Tucker, Charlotte (2021-08-02). "Tallinn-based Bolt lands €600 million to launch new grocery delivery, Bolt Market, in 10 European countries". EU-Startups. Archived from the original on 2023-03-08. Retrieved 2023-03-16.
  15. ^ "The Estonian taxibooking app Taxify raises $100K". Estonian World. 2014-04-28. Archived from the original on 2020-06-01. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  16. ^ Russell, Jon. "China's Didi invests in Taxify, an Uber rival operating in Europe and Africa". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 2017-10-30. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  17. ^ Nair, Dinesh. "Uber's European Rival Taxify Wins Unicorn Status Raising Funds". MSN Money. Archived from the original on 2018-07-12. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  18. ^ Almeida, Goncalo (November 9, 2018). "Taxify aims for 10-fold Africa growth, to overtake Uber in Europe". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2018-12-01.
  19. ^ "European Investment Bank backs Uber rival Bolt with €50m". Archived from the original on 2020-02-28. Retrieved 2020-02-28.
  20. ^ Browne, Ryan (2021-08-02). "Bolt valued at $4.75 billion as Uber rival aims to push into on-demand grocery delivery". CNBC. Archived from the original on 2021-08-02. Retrieved 2021-08-02.
  21. ^ Keane, Jonathan. "Bolt Raises €600 Million To Build The European 'Super App'". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 2, 2021. Retrieved 2021-08-02.
  22. ^ Keane, Jonathan. "Bolt Lands €20 Million From The World Bank's IFC For Emerging Market Push". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2021-05-18. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  23. ^ "Uber Rival Bolt Adds Car-Sharing Service as Next Expansion Path". www.bloomberg.com. Archived from the original on 2021-05-04. Retrieved 2021-06-30.
  24. ^ "Bolt raises EUR600m from investors including Sequoia". www.privateequitywire.co.uk. 2021-08-02. Archived from the original on 2021-08-02. Retrieved 2021-08-02.
  25. ^ Mukherjee, Supantha (2022-01-11). "Uber rival Bolt raises $711 mln at valuation of over $8 bln". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2022-03-08. Retrieved 2022-03-08.
  26. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (January 10, 2022). "Bolt raises $709M at an $8.4B valuation to expand its transportation and food delivery super app". TechCrunch.
  27. ^ "Bolt to expand operations across Europe with launch of 16,000 e-bikes". Intelligent Transport. Retrieved 2023-09-18.
  28. ^ "Bolt scooters are soon to be part of Oslo's Ruter public transport system | Bolt Blog". bolt.eu. 2022-11-23. Retrieved 2023-08-23.
  29. ^ "Bolt and Jelbi partner for seamless micro-mobility integration in Berlin". Intelligent Transport. Retrieved 2023-08-23.
  30. ^ "Introducing the Bolt Rentals Safety Report 2023 | Bolt Blog". bolt.eu. 2023-06-21. Retrieved 2023-08-23.
  31. ^ Keane, Jonathan. "Bolt Rolls Out Sixth Generation E-Scooter With The Long Haul In Mind". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-08-25.
  32. ^ Dillet, Romain (2020-07-01). "Bolt launches electric bike-sharing service in Paris". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2023-08-24.
  33. ^ "Bolt to expand operations across Europe with launch of 16,000 e-bikes". Intelligent Transport. Retrieved 2023-08-24.
  34. ^ Tucker, Charlotte (2021-05-04). "Tallinn-based Bolt launches its car-sharing service Bolt Drive". EU-Startups. Retrieved 2023-08-24.
  35. ^ "Estonia' car rental service Bolt Drive expanding to Latvia". www.baltictimes.com. Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  36. ^ "Bolt Drive launches operations in Lithuania's Kaunas". lrt.lt. 2023-05-15. Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  37. ^ Kauert, Rico-Thore (2023-05-25). "BOLT Drive in Berlin: Erster Erfahrungsbericht". Der Carsharing-Vergleich - Carsharingcheck.de (in German). Retrieved 2023-08-28.
  38. ^ "Swedbank and Luminor provide €126m of facilities to support the expansion of Bolt Drive". www.baltictimes.com. Retrieved 2023-08-24.
  39. ^ "Bolt launches short-term car rental service in Vilnius". lrt.lt. 2023-02-27. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  40. ^ Nurdinova, Nargiza (2023-02-28). "Po naujai startavusios „Bolt" paslaugos, konkurentų manevrai". Delfi (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 2024-01-07.
  41. ^ "Bolt teams up with University of Tartu to launch self-driving tech research". Eesti Rahvusringhääling. August 29, 2019. Archived from the original on 2022-07-19.
  42. ^ Hankewitz, Sten (April 22, 2021). "The University of Tartu and an Estonian rideshare company collaborate in self-driving vehicle development". Estonian World. Archived from the original on 2022-07-19.
  43. ^ Tucker, Charlotte (2021-08-02). "Tallinn-based Bolt lands €600 million to launch new grocery delivery, Bolt Market, in 10 European countries". EU-Startups. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  44. ^ Lockwood, Tasmin (2021-08-02). "Uber rival Bolt is entering 15-minute grocery delivery with $713 million in new funding led by Sequoia". Business Insider. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  45. ^ "Estonia: Bolt launches grocery delivery service in Tallinn, Tartu". baltictimes.com. 2021-09-28. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  46. ^ Martin, Iain (2021-12-06). "Uber-Rival Bolt To Expand Fast Grocery Delivery Service In Europe". Forbes. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  47. ^ Browne, Ryan (2023-06-21). "European Uber rival Bolt will deliver food to your door via self-driving robots". CNBC. Retrieved 2024-01-06.

External links[edit]

  • Bolt – Official Website