Bolt raises US$712.6m to help accelerate growth across Africa and Europe

AFRICARide-hailing company Bolt, has raised US$712.6 million in its latest round increasing the company’s valuation to more than US$4.75 billion.

The company says it will use the funds to accelerate the expansion of its existing mobility and delivery products across its African and European markets. 

The funds were raised from new investors including Sequoia, Tekne and Ghisallo, as well as Bolt’s existing investors G Squared, D1 Capital and Naya.

The funds will go into expanding the company’s network of ride-hailing services, food delivery and micro-mobility in Africa and Europe and include investments towards enhancing safety features on the platform for drivers and riders, deepening vehicle ownership initiatives, driver and courier empowerment and sustainability projects.

Bolt will also use the funds to boost it’s new under 15-minute grocery delivery service, Bolt Market recently launched in Europe.

“We continue to invest in products and services that improve the lives of our customers across the globe. We also continue to proactively add more shared and electric vehicles on our platform. We believe that the future of urban transport is a network of on-demand services including ride-hailing, food and grocery delivery. We are focused on creating innovative, quality, affordable and reliable services that will enhance urban mobility and provide viable economic opportunities across Eastern Africa,” said Kenneth Micah, East Africa Regional Manager Bolt.

On the other hand, Markus Villig, Chief Executive Officer at Bolt, said: “Cars are responsible for 90% of issues in urban transport, including pollution, congestion, accidents, and the parking lots taking up city space. Bolt’s mission is to motivate people to give up their private cars by offering them more affordable and sustainable alternatives. With our wide range of mobility and delivery services, we provide a better solution to almost every use case and distance. I’m thrilled to bring our products to millions of customers in Europe and Africa, helping take cities back from cars to people.” 

Bolt has experienced hyper-growth in the past year having grown to 75 million customers globally.

Bolt’s mission is to motivate people to give up their private car by offering them more affordable and sustainable alternatives”

Markus Villig – CEO, Bolt

In addition to its core ride-hailing product, Bolt offers a car-sharing service, Bolt Drive, and scooter and e-bike sharing.

The company’s delivery services include Bolt Food, which enables customers to order meals from restaurants, and the most recent addition to Bolt’s product family, a 15-minute grocery delivery service, Bolt Market. 

The company is piloting Bolt Market in its home market Estonia and preparing to launch in 10 European countries soon.

Its upcoming markets include the Baltics and Central Europe, as well as Sweden, Portugal, Croatia, Romania and later in African markets.

Bolt says it will use its existing technology and courier network from Bolt Food, as well as its experience in food delivery operations, to launch the new service. 

Andrew Reed, a partner at Sequoia, said: Bolt is redefining urban transportation in much of the world. Markus is a driven founder who has built an operationally excellent business spanning Europe and Africa and a mission-driven culture that forms the foundation of an enduring company. Bolt helps customers, cities and the environment. We’re delighted to partner with them.”

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