E-hailing giant Bolt, which serves 200 cities in 40 countries has raised €150 million ($182 million) in an equity funding to expand its delivery and transportation network in Europe and Africa. The CEO and co-founder Markus Villig said in an interview that the funds will be focused on geographic expansion and to help Bolt become the largest providers of electric scooters in Europe.
Bolt currently has about 50 million customers using its services, and Villig has developed the company around two main areas to distinguish it from the world’s Ubers: high capital efficiency or “frugality” as he describes it and, alongside launches in cities such as London and Paris and soon Berlin, placing a strong focus on services for emerging markets.
“This round was the first time we raised with most of the previous round still in the bank, despite the pressures of Covid” he said. “This shows the frugality of the company. Due to lockdowns, we were not as aggressive as we would have liked to be, so financially we are now in a very good position for 2021.”
The round is being led by D1 Capital Partners with participation also from Darsana Capital Partners. D1 has this year been a huge player in growth rounds for some of the very biggest startups: it has made investments in eyewear giant Warby Parker, gaming engine maker Unity, car sales portal Cazoo, and fintech TransferWise, collectively with valuations into the multiple billions of dollars.
The round is being led by D1 Capital Partners, with Darsana Capital Partners also taking part. For some of the largest start-ups, D1 has been a huge player in growth rounds this year it has made investments in eyewear giant Warby Parker, gaming engine manufacturer Unity, car sales portal Cazoo, and fintech TransferWise, with multi-billion dollar valuations collectively.
Originally founded as Taxify and steadily scaling the business in less-scrutinized emerging markets just around over the years, the company rebranded in 2019 as it launched bigger cities in Europe and Africa.
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