Tagged as Uber’s big-time competitor, Bolt has raised $711 million (628 million euros) in new funding led by Whale Rock, Owl Rock, D1, G Squared, Tekne, Fidelity, Sequoia Capital and unnamed backers.
Founded in 2013, Bolt (originally known as Taxify) has key markets in Paris and London and has expanded into diverse lines of business including e-scooters, online grocery and food delivery services.
The raised funds will be used to create awareness and expand to new locations and geographies and at the same time bring more partners and consumers to its super app. They also plan to include newer business lines, such as its 15-minute grocery delivery option. Dark stores will be built in more cities which will help expand the service(s) to more cities.
Founder and CEO, Markus Villig, in an interview noted that the ride-hailing service is seeing double-digit growth and the newer businesses (which are relatively smaller) are experiencing fast expansion. In his words, the new trend of last year is that private cars are a bad thing and increasingly, people want to use other forms of mobility.
Bolt has expanded to regions like Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and is in the process of attracting investors like China’s Didi. Presently, they are working on partnering with more city governments to build their services as part of their updated transportation strategies.