The Estonian ride-hailing company Bolt has announced that it has raised €150M in its biggest funding round yet. The round led by D1 Capital Partners, with the participation of Darsana Capital Partners.
The raised capital will help Bolt to further enhance the safety and quality of its products as it continues to grow its ride-hailing, micromobility, and food delivery services in Europe and Africa.
In 2021, Bolt is planning to roll out new functionalities to further enhance the safety of its products, such as automated trip monitoring to predict and prevent potential incidents with the use of artificial intelligence.
The company was founded in 2013 by Markus Villig, Martin Villig, and Oliver Leisalu. Bolt, previously known as Taxify, is a transportation platform providing 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% carbon-neutral as part of its Green Plan, a long-term commitment to reduce the ecological footprint of the company.
In addition to safety features, the company is also offering safety features in both its rider and driver apps, including an SOS button – to contact emergency services quickly if needed.
Markus Villig, CEO and co-founder of Bolt says, “Despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bolt has seen immense growth in the past year. We have almost doubled our number of customers and launched our services from ride-hailing to micromobility and food delivery in 50 new cities.”
Recent growth and developments
This year, Bolt expanded to cover 200 cities in 40 countries and reached 50 million users globally. In addition to its ride-hailing vertical, Bolt is planning to become the biggest micromobility provider in Europe, launching scooters in more than 100 cities next season. Bolt Food, launched in 2019, is currently available in 16 countries and 33 cities.
“In 2021, we are doubling down to be the industry leader in safety and quality of the platform. We’re planning to launch even more innovative solutions, like driver face verification and automatic trip monitoring, using machine learning to prevent potential incidents and ensure the highest quality service for our customers,” says Markus Villig.
Earlier this month, Bolt had released its 4th generation scooter, which, the company claims, is powered by innovative hardware and software to become the safest model on the market. The e-scooter is designed and engineered in-house, with Bolt’s team directly in charge of the manufacturing and sourcing of the components.
In July 2020, the company announced its operations in Amsterdam and Harlem to make urban transportation easier, faster, and more reliable. If compared with its competitors including Uber or ViaVan, Bolt claims to be a mobility platform that offers better prices for passengers and fairer earnings for drivers. In the same month, Bolt launched its e-bike sharing service in Paris, with plans to expand to more European capitals this year.
Prior to that in May 2020, Bolt had raised €100M from Naya Capital Management, the global investment manager founded in 2012 by Masroor Siddiqui, a former partner at The Children’s Investment Fund, and pushed the company’s value to €1.7B.