Uber competitor Bolt closes £137m amid UK expansion plans

Posted on December 16, 2020 by Alistair Hardaker

Bolt’s Markus Villig

Uber has a new multi-platform transport competitor in the form of European mobility platform Bolt.

London’s second biggest ride-hailing operator has raised €150m (£137.4m) in its biggest funding round yet.

The investment was led by D1 Capital Partners with the participation of Darsana Capital Partners.

The Estonian headquartered company recently announced London was one of 100 cities to receive some of its 130,000 scooters and electric bikes next year, in an expansion costing £89m.

If successful the expansion would make it the largest operator of shared light electric vehicles in Europe.

The £137.4m announced today will be used to further enhance the safety and quality of its products, it said, as it continues to grow ride-hailing, micromobility and food delivery in Europe and Africa.

In the UK, Bolt has 50,000 drivers accepted onto its ride-hailing platform and 2 million passengers signed up across the capital.

Markus Villig, CEO and co-founder, Bolt said: “Despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bolt has seen immense growth in the past year. We have almost doubled our number of customers and launched our services from ride-hailing to micromobility and food delivery in 50 new cities.

“We’re planning to launch even more innovative solutions like driver face verification and automatic trip monitoring, using machine learning to prevent potential incidents and ensure the highest quality service for our customers.”

Dan Sundheim, founder of investor D1 Capital added: “We are excited to partner with Bolt as they continue to build a market-leading mobility platform across Europe and Africa. The team has executed incredibly well during a challenging year and continues to provide millions of users with safety, flexibility and great value.

“We are optimistic about the growth opportunity ahead for Bolt after the COVID-19 pandemic and look forward to supporting the team as they invest in innovation over the coming years.”

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