Estonian ride-hailing unicorn Bolt closes another round of funding, Should Uber be worried?

Estonian ride-hailing unicorn Bolt closes another round of funding, Should Uber be worried?

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Ever since Uber entered the scene, the ride-sharing sector has bloomed and became even more competitive. The fierce competition led to the rise of numerous other ride-hailing services that are competing to get a bigger chunk of the market. The Estonia-based unicorn Bolt is one such strong challenger that is taking on Uber with its promise of low prices for users and higher pay for its drivers. The company recently expanded its services to London and has now closed a new round of funding, as per the first report seen on TechCrunch.

Fresh funds

When contacted, Bolt refrained from divulging any details on the latest round funding. The spokesperson from the company told us, “We can confirm that we have closed a new round of funding but are not currently disclosing details.”

Further, as quoted in the report Bolt’s spokesperson also said, “We aim at supporting our recent launch in London and further expansion plans in 2019.” It would technically be the company’s Series C round of funding, which is said to be backed by a new Sweden-based fund called Nordic Ninjas, Naya Capital, G Squared and Creandum.

While there are more details to be uncovered, the current and previous list of investors in the company paints an interesting picture. G Squared is a prolific investor in tech startups including Airbnb, Coursera, Spotify, among others and has also backed some of the biggest transportation companies like Uber, Fair, Lyft and more. The investor backing a startup means there’s probably a big amount in funding. In addition, Honda is a shareholder in Nordic Ninjas, which could mean a possible entry of Bolt into East Asia.

Making urban transportation easier

Founded by Markus Villig and Martin Villig in 2013, the company was initially called Taxify. Its goal was to make urban transportation faster and easier and to realise this, it introduced a taxi service dispatch platform. Since then, the company showed exponential growth and expanded its services to provide cars, bikes, and even started food delivery from its platform. In May 2018, it raised €161 million in funding from Daimler, China’s Didi, Korelya Capital and other investors.

Challenges Ahead

Bolt recently restarted its services in London after as it was working with the city to get a license and approval to operate. However, it is yet to launch its full service in London, which is the biggest ride-hailing market on the continent. In Addition, with the latest round of funding and new investors, it remains to be seen which new regions the company will expand its services to.

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.

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