Taxify changes name to Bolt, and expands transportation options beyond private cars

Estonian ride-hailing company Taxify has announced a major change: it will change its name to Bolt, the name it has been using for its new electric scooter service, in order to highlight the fact that it provides transportation options beyond private cars, according to Techcrunch.

The Estonian company announced the change on Thursday, and quickly updated its apps and their various listings in app stores too, for the time being, “Bolt (Taxify)”.

The company now has 25 million users in 30 countries and its strategic name change comes as it has started to look for another funding round. Its last round was in May 2018, when it secured USD 175 million from Daimler and reached a USD 1 billion valuation.

The company said it had “started to outgrow” its brand and wanted to highlight that it is not all about cars and that it believes the future of transportation is electric.

“Bolt” was a sub-brand of Taxify launched in Paris six months ago to offer short-term electric scooter rentals. Much like Uber offers Uber Black and Uber Van as services within its app, Bolt was available alongside traditional car e-hailing in the Taxify app.

taxify - bolt
Bolt by Taxify

CEO Markus Villig explained in an interview that “Bolt” will imply speed and electricity, and that the company is counting on the fact that the future is fully electric. They also wanted to remove the word “taxi” from their name in order to remove the impression that the company only offers car-based rides.

Uche Okafor, Regional General Manager (West Africa) at Bolt told Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa by Pulse on Thursday that the global rebrand embodies its mission to build the best way to more in cities.

“Bolt is a name that fits this ambition. Specific to Africa (Nigeria), we have plans to launch new cities across Africa and in Nigeria during the course of 2019 and are also looking to expand our product line.”

He declined to disclose further details about the expansion and new product line

While we’ve made progress on our mission, we’ve also started to outgrow parts of our brand, including the name. Given our ambition to solve transportation problems on an increasingly broader scale, we want the brand to reflect the company’s future rather than the past. Our new identity also underscores our belief that the future of transportation will be electric”, Regional Manager for West Africa at Bolt, Okafor, explained.

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