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Investment

Bolt gets $110M boost for African and European expansion

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Ride-hailing platform Bolt has raised €100 million (US$110 million) to fund its growth and development strategy, with Africa as a big focus area.

The investment from UK-based Naya Capital Management will go into upgrading product segments to include micro mobility services and food delivery in Africa and Europe. These will include investments into scooters, bikes and delivery services across its markets.

Bolt is active in over 60 African cities in seven countries, and last year Bolt Africa's expansion manager, Karl Aru, told Connecting Africa it planned to expand this to 75 cities on the African continent.

Bolt's CEO and co-founder, Markus Villig, said the company is happy to be backed by investors that look past the typical Silicon Valley hype and support its long-term view.

"We continue to improve our operations to meet the demands of our customers. Even though the crisis has temporarily changed how we move, the long-term trends that drive on-demand mobility such as declining personal car ownership or the shift towards greener transportation continue to grow.

"I am more confident than ever that our efficiency and localization are a fundamental advantage in the on-demand industry. These enable us to continue offering affordable transportation to millions of customers and the best earnings for our partners during the post-COVID world," he added.

The investment from Naya Capital Management now brings the total investment amount that has been raised by Bolt to over €300 million ($330 million) since inception.

Bolt, which was previously known as Taxify, launched in Estonia in 2013 and expanded into Africa with its first launch in South Africa in 2016. Globally the group has over 30 million customers in 35 countries and in Europe and Africa operates its ride-hailing services in more than 150 cities.

In recent months, Bolt has accelerated the expansion of its Bolt Food delivery service, which is now available in Cape Town. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic is also launched Bolt Protect, with cars that are fitted with protective plastic sheeting installed between the passenger and driver seats, limiting the airflow between the driver and riders inside the car. This service has launched in a number of cities around the world including Nairobi.

Bolt is active in over 60 African cities in seven countries.
Bolt is active in over 60 African cities in seven countries.

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

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