Bolt (company)

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mTakso, Taxify
IndustryTransportation network company
FoundedAugust 2013; 6 years ago (2013-08)
FounderMarkus Villig
HeadquartersTallinn, Estonia
Area served
30 countries in Europe, Africa, Middle East, North America and Australia
ProductsMobile app
ServicesTransportation network company
Revenue€18 million (2017)[1]

Bolt, formerly known as Taxify,[2] is an Estonian transportation network company founded and headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia. The company develops and operates the Bolt mobile application, which allows people to request a taxi or private driver from their smartphone, as well as electric scooters. As of February 2019, Bolt operates in 30 countries[2] and 50 cities in Europe, Africa, West Asia, North America and Australia. The company has 25 million[2] customers globally and more than 500,000 drivers use the platform to offer rides.[3][4][5][6][7]


Bolt (then called Taxify) was founded by Markus Villig (then only 19 years old, a high-school student) in 2013, with a vision to aggregate all Tallinn and Riga taxis into one platform. The service was launched in August 2013 and in 2014 it went on to foreign shores.[8]

In 2017, Taxify 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.[9][10] The company has filed a new licence application with plans to reopen services in London.[11]

Taxify logo (former)

Following the setback in London, Taxify launched its services in Paris and Lisbon.[12][13]

In September 2018, the company announced expanding into dockless electric scooters and launched them in Paris under the new Bolt brand.[14] The company also said it planned to release scooters in several other European and Australian cities where their app was already established, but would also launch in new markets where they’ve been unable to offer ride-hailing services because of regulatory roadblocks, including Germany and Spain.[15]

In June 2019, Bolt re-launched in London with 20,000 drivers registered on the platform.[16]


Prior to announcing a strategic partnership with Didi Chuxing, Taxify had raised over €2 million in investment capital from Estonian and Finnish angel investors.[17] In August 2017, Didi Chuxing invested an undisclosed amount believed to be an "eight-figure U.S. dollar sum".[18] 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.[19]


  • Became the first transportation app in the world to allow customers to pay for their trips via mobile carrier billing.[20]
  • Became the #2 travel app in South Africa, and #1 travel app in Kenya and Nigeria in 2017.[21]
  • Became the leading ride-hailing platform in Africa in 2018. [22][23]
  • Reached 10 million customers in May 2018.[24]
  • Expanded into electric scooters in September 2018[14] and became the first platform integrating these with ride-hailing services in one app.[25]
  • Rebranded to Bolt and reached 25 million passengers in February 2019.[2]
  • Launched in London in June 2019.[16]


Bolt operates their app, which enables people to hail rides from their smartphones. The application is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Riders must choose a payment method: cash, credit card or mobile carrier billing before they can use the service.[26] The customer requests a ride and confirms their pick-up location. Once the driver accepts the trip, the customer will be able to see the driver's name and car details. After the ride is completed both driver and the rider can rate each other.[27][28]


Bolt has stressed the importance of customer safety. All drivers undergo a criminal background check and in-person training. Drivers are also required to be at least 21 years old and have had a driver's license for at least 3 years. Bolt has a zero-tolerance policy against alcohol and drug use.[29] In Nigeria, Bolt has included an SOS button for drivers that sends real time emergency alerts to the Lagos State Emergency Response Agency.[30] In South Africa, a similar feature is powered by the safety app Namola.[31] In London, an in-app SOS button links riders and drivers with the emergency services. [32]


Country Cities
 Australia Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney
 Austria Vienna
 Azerbaijan Baku, Ganja, Sumgayit
 Croatia Zagreb
 Cyprus Limassol, Nicosia
 Czech Republic Prague
 Estonia Haapsalu, Jõhvi, Kohtla-Jarve, Kuressaare, Narva, Pärnu, Rakvere, Tallinn, Tartu, Viljandi
 Finland Helsinki
 France Lyon, Paris
 Georgia Batumi, Kutaisi, Tbilisi
 Ghana Accra
 Hungary Budapest, Debrecen
 Iraq Baghdad
 Kenya Mombasa, Nairobi
 Latvia Daugavpils, Jelgava, Liepaja, Riga, Ventspils
 Lithuania Kaunas, Klaipeda, Panevezys, Šiauliai, Vilnius
 Malta Malta
 Mexico Durango, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Mexico City, Monterrey
 Nigeria Abuja, Benin City, Ibadan, Lagos, Owerri, Uyo, Calabar
 Poland Bydgoszcz, Katowice, Krakow, Lodz, Lublin, Poznan, Radom, Tricity, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Szczecin, Olsztyn Plock
 Portugal Braga, Lisbon, Porto
 Romania Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara
 Russia Moscow, Saint Petersburg
 Saudi Arabia Riyadh
 Serbia Belgrade
 Slovakia Banska Bystrica, Bratislava, Kosice, Nitra, Prešov, Trnava, Žilina
 South Africa Cape Town, Durban, East London, Garden Route, Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Rustenburg
 Sweden Stockholm
 Tanzania Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Mwanza
 Uganda Kampala
 Ukraine Kharkiv, Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa
 United Kingdom London


  1. ^ "Taxify käive 18 miljonit, kahjum 11 miljonit" (in Estonian). Äripäev. 2018-07-06. Archived from the original on 2018-07-06.
  2. ^ a b c d "Taxify rebrands as Bolt to expand its transport options beyond private cars". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  3. ^ "New Ride-Hailing App Taxify to Launch in Egypt and Compete with Uber, Careem, and Ousta". Cairo Scene. Archived from the original on 2017-03-30. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  4. ^ ERR (2017-04-12). "Estonian taxi-hailing app Taxify expands to Baku, Malta". ERR. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  5. ^ ERR (2017-10-05). "Estonia's Taxify expands ride-hailing platform to Paris". ERR. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  6. ^ Taxify (2018-04-27). "Taxify Hits 10M Users Globally". Taxify. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  7. ^ Almeida, Goncalo. "Taxify aims for 10-fold Africa growth, to overtake Uber in Europe". U.S. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  8. ^ Treija, Ieva. "Taxi startup forces countries to change Transport Law by offering new business model | EU-Startups". Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  9. ^ "Taxify launches in London, acquiring a cab firm to scale and discounting prices – TechCrunch". Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  10. ^ "Uber-Rival Taxify Suspended in London Amid License Investigation". 2017-09-08. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  11. ^ Titcomb, James (2018-02-24). "Uber rival Taxify plots London comeback". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  12. ^ Auchard, Eric. "After London setback, Taxify trails Uber into Paris market". U.S. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  13. ^ Barber, Lynsey (2018-01-11). "Uber rival Taxify launches in Lisbon as London wait continues". Archived from the original on 2018-07-05. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  14. ^ a b "The scooter war explodes in Europe as Taxify brings dockless scooters to Paris". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  15. ^ "Taxify is entering the e-scooter game". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  16. ^ a b Schulze, Elizabeth (2019-06-11). "Uber's European rival Bolt launches in London". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  17. ^ "The Estonian taxibooking app Taxify raises $100K". Estonian World. 2014-04-28. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  18. ^ Russell, Jon. "China's Didi invests in Taxify, an Uber rival operating in Europe and Africa". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  19. ^ Nair, Dinesh. "Uber's European Rival Taxify Wins Unicorn Status Raising Funds". MSN Money. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  20. ^ "Taxify vs. Uber - TheSpark". TheSpark. 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  21. ^ "Taxify steadily gaining ground in Africa as Uber falls victim of its pricing - TechMoran". Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  22. ^ "Taxify Beats Uber In Africa |". Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  23. ^ Wexler, Alexandra; Echwalu, Edward (2018-09-16). "Taxify Rides Motorbikes to Lead Over Uber in Africa". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  24. ^ "Taxify global user numbers hit 10 mln". The Baltic Course. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  25. ^ Ram, Aliya; Bradshaw, Tim (2018-09-06). "Ride-hailing app Taxify to launch electric scooters in Paris". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  26. ^ "Estonian Taxify first in the world to launch mobile billing for cabs - ArcticStartup". ArcticStartup. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  27. ^ "We used Taxify in Lagos and this is how it went | TechCabal". Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  28. ^ Taxify startet nächste Woche in Wien, futurzone, 2017-10-13.
  29. ^ "Ride hailing services: how safe are you? | IOL". Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  30. ^ "Taxify introduces SOS button for real time alerts to Lagos State Emergency Response Agency". BusinessDay : News you can trust. 2018-04-19. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  31. ^ "Safer rides as Taxify, crime app Namola join forces". IOL News. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  32. ^ Katwala, Amit (2019-06-12). "Uber's new London rival has one huge advantage: it's much cheaper". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 2019-06-13.

External links[edit]

  • Bolt - Official Website