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.