Thursday, January 20, 2022

Bolt Technologies raises $720m

Bolt Technology has completed its largest funding round to date. Investors poured $720 million into the company. The Company had already received another $660 million in financing only last year. Bolt’s e-scooter hire is but one part of the growing business.

Since launching eight years ago, the company has progressed from ride-hailing services into car-sharing through Bolt Drive, Bolt Food and most recently Bolt Market to deliver groceries within 15 minutes, and claims its app has 100 million users in 45 countries and 400 cities in Africa and Europe. Note, Bolt is not active in the United States, and the company considers its European roots among its USPs.

The financing round at hand was led by Sequoia Capital and Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC with participation from Whale Rock, Owl Rock, and others. Recurring investors were Sequoia, Tekne and Ghisallo, G Squared, D1 Capital and Naya.

The new investment takes Bolt’s valuation to $8.5 billion, according to the company.

Markus Villig, founder and CEO at Bolt, said the new capital would help “build a future in which cities have less congestion, less pollution and more green spaces where people can easily move around in a safe and sustainable way.”

Last month, the company announced a range of new safety features incorporated into its scooter-sharing network. These include a system that can detect more than one person riding a scooter at the same time, a cognitive reaction test to ensure riders stay as safe as possible, and a skid prevention system.

Bolt is not the first scooter-sharing company to incorporate new safety measures with cities increasing requirements before handing out more licenses.

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Bolt Technology was founded by the Estonian company Taxify initially as a ride broker in 2013 and has since aimed to distinguish itself by being cheaper (at times) than Uber and other services.

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