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Bolt

Bolt

Bolt was founded in 2013 and provides on-demand transport to the masses. The company connects cars, motorcycles, scooter sharing, and food delivery, formerly known as Taxify, the company's office is located in Tallinn.

Bolt is the first European super-app with the mission to make urban mobility more affordable, safe and sustainable.

Bolt has 100 million customers in 45 countries across Europe and Africa. The company challenges personal car ownership, offering better alternatives for every use case, including ride-hailing, shared cars and scooters, and food and grocery delivery.

Bolt was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia.

History

Bolt (then called Taxify) was founded by Markus Villig (then only 19 years old, a high-school student) in 2013, with a vision to aggregate all Tallinn and Riga taxis into one platform. With €5,000 from his parents, who also helped him by doing customer support outside of their regular working hours, he hired a developer to help him launch the business, then called mTakso.The service was launched in August 2013 and in 2014 it went on to foreign shores.

Caen Contee, co-founder, Lime, left, and Markus Villig, co-founder & CEO, Bolt, Web Summit 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal.

In 2017, Bolt launched its services in London by acquiring a local taxi company with a licence to operate, but was forced by Transport for London to shut down its services. The company has filed a new licence application[16] and relaunched in London in June 2019.

Bolt electric scooter

Following the setback in London, Bolt launched its services in Paris and Lisbon.

In September 2018, the company announced expanding into dockless electric scooters and launched them in Paris.[20] The company also said it planned to release scooters in several other European and Australian cities where the app was already established, but would also launch in new markets where vehicle for hire services face significant regulatory roadblocks, including Germany and Spain.

In June 2019, Bolt re-launched in London with 20,000 drivers registered on the platform.

In August 2019, the company rolled out its food delivery service, Bolt Food. Bolt Food launched in Tallinn, with the plans to expand to more cities in Europe and Africa later this year.

In September 2019, Bolt announced its "Green Plan", an initiative to reduce the ecological footprint of the transportation industry and Bolt as a company. The Green Plan goals include offsetting Bolt's contribution to the CO₂ emissions of the European transportation sector by at least 5 million tonnes by 2025 and adding more green ride-types for passengers to choose from.

In March 2019, and in 2020, Bolt was ranked third in the FT 1000: Europe's Fastest Growing Companies published by the Financial Times.

In May 2021, Bolt launched a car-sharing service Bolt Drive.

On 22 June 2021, the App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU) in the UK called a 24-hour strike and staged a protest against Bolt at the company's West London offices. The union demanded that Bolt also observe the recent UK Supreme Court ruling against Uber and treat its drivers as workers with the right to the UK national minimum wage and holiday pay. ADCU London President Abdurzak Hadi said: “Bolt can no longer just bury its head in the sand and pretend that their drivers and our members are not entitled to the same rights as Uber drivers. This strike and protest is Bolt’s last chance to do the right thing, obey the law and respect their drivers." The union threatened legal action on worker rights if Bolt did not comply with its demands, that also included, that Bolt should increase its fares to £2 per mile, and end all unfair driver dismissals.

In late February 2022, Bolt, alongside Uber, announced plans to distance themselves from the Russian Companies they are associated with, and Bolt announced that they have stopped selling products produced in or by Russian companies. Bolt also pledged to keep its services running in Ukraine due to recent events.

Timeline

January 11, 2022
Bolt raises a $700,000,000 series F round from D1 Capital Partners, Fidelity Management and Research Company, G Squared, Ghisallo Partners, Owl Rock Capital, Sequoia Capital, Tekne Capital and Whale Rock Capital Management.
August 2, 2021
Bolt raises €600,000,000 in a Series E funding round led by Sequoia Capital.
August 2, 2021
Bolt raises a $653,346,000 series E round from D1 Capital Partners, G Squared, Ghisallo Partners, Naya Capital, Sequoia Capital and Tekne Capital.
May 2021
Launched car-sharing service Bolt Drive
March 4, 2021
Bolt raises a $24,000,000 convertible note from International Finance Corporation.
December 16, 2020
Bolt raises a $182,000,000 series D round from D1 Capital Partners.
May 26, 2020
Bolt raises a $108,841,000 convertible note from Naya Capital.
August 2019
Launched Bolt Food
July 8, 2019
Bolt raises a $65,299,680 series C round from Counterpart Advisors, Creandum, G Squared, Korelya Capital, Naya Capital, NordicNinja, Startup Wise Guys and Superangel.
June 2019
Launched in London

Funding Rounds

Products

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Asset financiers to the rescue as Bolt plans to sign-up 200,000 new drivers in Africa to meet growing demand for ride-hailing services

Annie Njanja

Web

January 28, 2022

Bolt secures €628M funding in largest investment round to date

Web

January 11, 2022

How a college dropout became Europe's youngest founder of a billion-dollar company

Vicky McKeever

Web

October 21, 2019

How to use the Bolt app

Web

August 20, 2020

TechChill 2020: What's the Impact of a Unicorn by Martin Villig, Bolt

Web

April 9, 2020

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Katyanna Quach
September 2, 2021
go.theregister.com
Joby hopes to push its service live in 2024

References

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