Bolt Technologies closes largest funding round to date
Bolt Technology, easily tagged as Estonia’s answer to Uber, has completed its largest funding round to date. Investors poured 628 million euros into the company, which had received another €600Mn in financing only last year. Bolt’s e-scooter hire is but one part of the growing business.
Since launching eight years ago, the company has progressed from ride-hailing services into car-sharing through Bolt Drive, Bolt Food and most recently Bolt Market to deliver groceries within 15 minutes, and claims its app has 100 million users in 45 countries and 400 cities in Africa and Europe. Note, Bolt is not active in the United States, and the company considers its European roots among its USPs.
The financing round at hand was led by Sequoia Capital and Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC with participation from Whale Rock, Owl Rock, and others. Recurring investors were Sequoia, Tekne and Ghisallo, G Squared, D1 Capital and Naya.
The new €628 million investment takes Bolt’s valuation to €7.4 billion, so the company.
Markus Villig, founder and CEO at Bolt, said the new capital would help “build a future in which cities have less congestion, less pollution and more green spaces where people can easily move around in a safe and sustainable way.” He also stressed that Bolt worked closely with cities to introduce and run micromobility offers.
Last month, the company announced a range of new safety features incorporated into its scooter-sharing network. These include a system that can detect more than one person riding a scooter at the same time, a cognitive reaction test to ensure riders stay as safe as possible, and a skid prevention system.
Bolt is not the first scooter-sharing company to incorporate new safety measures with cities increasing requirements before handing out more licenses.
However, the new funding is slated to grow Bolt Market, launched during the pandemic and so far available in ten European countries. With this new investment, Bolt says it will accelerate its expansion “rapidly in 2022 and plans to have hundreds of stores operational by the end of the year.” When they announced the service in August last year, Bolt had named the Baltic States, Central Europe, Sweden, Portugal, Croatia and Romania as launch markets.
Bolt Technology was founded by the Estonian company Taxify initially as a ride broker in 2013 and has since aimed to distinguish itself by being cheaper (at times) than Uber and other services.
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