By Theodore Opara
BOLT, a leading mobility platform in Africa, has announced its largest ever funding round to further scale its existing products and accelerate the transition from owned cars to shared mobility in cities.
The €628 million investment round was led by Sequoia Capital and Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC with participation from Whale Rock, Owl Rock (a division of Blue Owl), D1, G Squared, Tekne, Ghisallo, and others, and takes Bolt’s valuation to €7.4 billion.
Markus Villig, Founder and CEO at Bolt, said, “For decades, cities have been built for cars, not people.
That has led to unsustainable traffic, pollution, and loss of public space to parking places. We think this approach is outdated.
“Over the past eight years we have developed products that offer better and more affordable alternatives for almost every purpose a private car serves.
“We’re partnering with cities to help people make the switch towards light vehicles such as scooters and e-bikes and shared mobility options like ride-hailing and car-sharing to transform urban areas back into sustainable, people-friendly spaces.
“That’s why we’re pleased to announce this new round of funding – the biggest in our history – which will help us build a future in which cities have less congestion, less pollution and more green spaces where people can easily move around in a safe and sustainable way.”
Femi Akin-Laguda, Country Manager, Bolt Nigeria also added, “Bolt is redefining urban mobility by helping people move seamlessly and helping the environment and the cities grow sustainably.
We plan to continue expanding our services in Nigeria and offer a better alternative to move around cities and towns and receive their food. Bolt is an innovative company and with the investment the mission is to ease mobility for every Nigerian.”
Last month, Bolt announced a range of new safety features to be incorporated on its scooter-sharing network, the largest in Europe, demonstrating how the company is a reliable partner for cities.
These features include a tandem riding prevention system, which can detect more than one person riding a scooter at the same time, a cognitive reaction test to ensure riders stay as safe as possible, and a skid prevention system meaning scooters are only used in a safe and responsible manner.
Scooter-sharing is just one part of Bolt’s suite of mobility and delivery products, which are currently used by more than 100 million customers in 45 countries and over 400 cities across Europe and Africa.
Other products also include its ride-hailing service; car-sharing service Bolt Drive; Bolt Food, which enables customers to order meals from restaurants; and Bolt Market, a 15-minute grocery delivery service.
In August 2021, Bolt raised €600 million in a funding round backed by Sequoia Capital and other investors to boost its new 15-minute grocery delivery service and to accelerate the expansion of its existing mobility and delivery products.
With this new investment Bolt will accelerate its expansion rapidly in 2022 and plans to have hundreds of stores operational by the end of the year.