Ride-Hailing Startup, Bolt, Secures $23.9mn to enable it to thrive and scale in the African market

Ride-Hailing Startup, Bolt, (formerly Taxify) has just secured another $20 million to tackle its African market. Mobility startups in Africa are in for a rollercoaster ride. Bolt is a leading player in the African digital mobility sector, headquartered in Estonia.

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“Half of Bolt’s business is in Africa, and this investment will allow us to stimulate entrepreneurship and advance drivers and passengers by transforming transportation on the continent,” said Gareth Taylor, regional director of Bolt in southern Africa.

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What You Need To Know About Bolt

Launched in 2013 by Martin and Markus Villig under the name Taxify, Bolt is developing numerous mobility services (VTC, motorcycle taxis and even free-floating electric scooters), in more than 200 cities across 40 countries in Europe and Africa. The startup currently serves 50 million customers using its services.

The round was led by the International Finance Corporation. Barely 3 months ago, Bolt raised $182m from D1 Capital Partners with participation also from Darsana Capital Partners. The funding added to the $109 million it raised in May 2020. 

Read also: Ivorian Transport Startup Moja Ride Raises Funding From Toyota Tsusho Corporation

The latest investment brings the startup’s total financing to more than $534.9 mn and would be used to finance its African market operations.

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.

Read also: Jumia aims to expand its food delivery service across Africa

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.

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