Estonia-based Bolt raises €100 million to grow its transport and food delivery app in Europe and Africa

Markus founder Bolt

Today Estonian ride-sharing and food delivery app Bolt (previously Taxify) has announced raising €100 million from Naya Capital Management, bringing total funds raised to €300 million and the company valuation to €1.7 billion. The startup will use the funds to further its global expansion in Europe and Africa.

Bolt, founded in 2013, started out as a ride-sharing taxi app, and is now also dominating the food delivery space in 12 countries. It has grown to having a user-base of more than 30 million users globally, and operates in more than 150 cities across Europe and Africa. In February of this year, Bolt announced a partnership with Google to appear in the Google Map’s journey planner, giving it even more visibility.

With the global pandemic taking its toll on ride-sharing apps globally, it seems that Bolt has found a positive mindset. Last week Uber announced more job cuts, and Lyft is also cutting about 17% of staff. In this context, Bolt originally requested a €50 million loan from the Estonian government, and is now a beneficiary of the government’s job retention scheme. Having so far made no large job cuts or salary reductions, the startup is holding fast for the pandemic to be over. Now with this boost of €100 million, their team is looking to the future and maintains that long-term ride-sharing will continue to be a service as much in demand as before, if not more. 

Bolt’s CEO and founder Markus Villig explained: “The crisis has temporarily changed our movement habits, but the long-term trends have stayed the same. The world is heading towards a more environmentally-friendly transport, and the popularity of owning a personal car is decreasing. Our investors share the same views and they understand that sending money doesn´t have a perspective. I am more and more convinced that the efficiency and the ability to adjust give Bolt an advantage in the field.”

Masroor Siddiqui, Managing Partner and CIO of Naya Capital Management said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to invest in Bolt at this stage in the company’s growth story. Under Markus’ leadership, Bolt has established itself as one of the most competitive and innovative players in global mobility. We believe that Bolt is helping drive a fundamental change in how consumers interact with the transport infrastructure of their cities and look forward to the company’s continued execution on its strategic vision.”