Earlier this year, in March, Estonian ride-hailing company Bolt received €20M from International Finance Corporation (IFC) to expand its mobility services in emerging markets. Today, it announced the launch of its new car-sharing service, Bolt Drive.
Bolt Drive is a free-floating car-sharing service. It allows customers to see the vehicles nearest to them on a map and book a car using the Bolt app. Users can start the ride by unlocking a car with a mobile phone and finish it anywhere in the city, within an area indicated in the app. Also, users do not have to pay for parking or fuel.
Urban travel made easy
Bolt was founded in 2013 by Markus Villig, Martin Villig, and Oliver Leisalu. Previously known as Taxify, Bolt is a transportation platform that provides ride-hailing, micromobility, package delivery, and scooter-sharing services.
The company’s mission is to make urban travel easier, quicker, and more reliable. It has more than 50 million users in over 40 countries across Europe and Africa. The company claims that all Bolt rides in Europe are 100 per cent carbon-neutral as part of its Green Plan, a long-term commitment to reduce the ecological footprint of the company.
In addition, the company also offers safety features in both its rider and driver apps, including an SOS button – to contact emergency services quickly if needed.
Last year, in December, Bolt raised €150M in its biggest funding round yet. The round was led by D1 Capital Partners, with the participation of Darsana Capital Partners.
First mobility platform in Europe to offer car-sharing
The new service allows customers to rent a car for short periods of time using the Bolt app. The company will invest €20M in launching Bolt Drive in Europe this year, starting with a pilot in its home market, Estonia.
Bolt claims it is the first mobility platform in Europe to offer car-sharing, ride-hailing, and micro mobility with scooters and electric bikes in one app. With this new service, the company aims to help customers become less dependent on personal cars and encourages the use of alternative modes of transport for short-distance trips.
Markus Villig, CEO at Bolt, says, “Personal cars are the primary cause of problems in urban transport. They are responsible for traffic, environmental emissions, and taking up city space. Bolt’s mission is to help people give up their personal cars by providing a better alternative.”
Villig further explains, “For people to switch from ownership to on-demand transport, we need to offer a more convenient, affordable, and environmentally sustainable option for every distance. We are already doing this for short and medium distance trips. Bolt Drive now covers the rest of the use cases, whether it’s a trip to a shopping mall or a weekend getaway. Our customers will have access to a car at any time, from the same app they already use for scooters, e-bikes and ride-hailing.”