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Ride-Hailing Startup, Bolt, Founded By A 19-Year Old Raises $109m To Expand Its African Market

Mobility startups in Africa are in for a rollercoaster ride as a leading player in the African digital mobility sector, Estonia-headquartered Bolt (formerly Taxify) have just raised $109 million to tackle its African market. 

  • The investment came from Naya Capital Management, and brings the startup’s total financing to more than $329 million. 
  • Launched in 2013 by Martin and Markus Villig under the name Taxify, Bolt is developing numerous mobility services (VTC, motorcycle taxis and even free-floatting electric scooters), in more than 150 cities in Europe and Africa. 
  • Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing containment measures, the startup has stepped up its meal delivery service, Bolt Food, now available in 12 countries. 
  • Rather concentrated in Eastern Europe and Africa, Bolt is gaining ground in markets where its competitor Uber is less present.
  • The Tallinn-based startup has also launched a new service for merchants. Called Business Delivery, it offers restaurants, supermarkets and florists a delivery service to cover the last kilometer and manage returns of items, using the Bolt network of drivers and couriers.
  • To comply with social distancing measures, the startup has also launched a new category of hybrid bikes equipped with dividing walls between the passenger and driver seats. 


Nichole Manhire

Is the media and brand manager at GFA News. She works very closely with editors and podcasters that contribute to telling the African business success story. For marketing and advertising send Nichole an email:

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