Bolt Raises $709 Million At A New Valuation Of $8.4 Billion

Ride-hailing Titan Bolt has raised €628 million, the equivalent of $709 million, at a new valuation of €7.4 billion or $8.4 billion. The company plans to continue to expand into newer territories and draw in new customers and partners onto its platform. It will also invest in fresh business lines such as its 15-minute grocery delivery option it calls Bolt Market and plans to overtake physical grocery shopping in the markets where the service is currently available.

Bolt operates a chain of businesses that include on-demand ride-hailing service, shared cars and scooters, and restaurant and grocery delivery. The new funding round was led by Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC and saw the participation of Ghisallo, Tekne, G Squared, D1, Whale Rock, Owl Rock, etc. The round follows on the heels of its last Series E round, led by Sequoia, where the titan raised €600 million at a valuation of more than €4 billion about four months ago.

According to the company’s founder and CEO Markus Villig in an interview he had this week, “all of our business units are growing” and “is seeing double-digit growth”. Currently, Bolt boasts of 100 million customers in 45 countries and more than 400 cities. In its last round, the company said it had just 75 million customers. This shows that the company had an impressive growth between its last funding round and now.

The company has also been through challenges in recent times. According to Markus Villig, the company faced ‘short term fluctuations” in demand thanks to the lockdowns induced by the pandemic. He also added that to keep business running and not lose its drivers to other rivals, the company has had to focus on paying better commissions to its drivers, adding that Bolt will pay between 10 to 20 percent better than its rivals. “There is a massive lack of supply on these platforms, so we have focused on taking the most partner-friendly lowest commission. That has paid off well for Bolt, which has now seen monthly revenues more than double compared to sales pre-Covid”, he said.

Bolt will continue to expand and increase efforts to be at the top of the business with the new funds it raised.

“We’re excited to deepen our partnership with Markus and Bolt to further their mission to make urban travel affordable, sustainable and safe. At Sequoia, we believe in the global potential for technology and entrepreneurship and have been inspired by Bolt’s growth from Tallinn, Estonia to over 400 cities and 100 million customers across Europe and Africa. We’re eager to help them expand their footprint, increase their product offering and improve the quality of life in cities for the long term”, Andrew Reed, a partner at Sequoia said in a statement.

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