Rival Uber Bolt valued at $ 1.9 billion plans coronavirus recovery


Bolt CEO Markus Villig


Bolt, a European competitor to Uber, says it is now valued at 1.7 billion euros ($ 1.9 billion) after raising new funds because it aims to revive the dynamics of a business severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tallinn, Estonia-based company announced Tuesday that it has raised 100 million euros from Naya Capital, an investment manager founded by hedge fund investor Masroor Siddiqui. The new capital will be used to stimulate its main activity of public transport as well as new services such as electric scooters and food delivery.

“Although the crisis has temporarily changed the way we move, long-term trends that stimulate mobility on demand, such as the decline in the number of personal vehicles and the transition to greener transport, continue to grow”, said Bolt co-founder and CEO Markus Villig. a statement Tuesday.

Bolt suffered a 75% drop in revenue around mid-March, as European countries began to introduce lock-in restrictions to stem the spread of Covid-19. Other space players, such as Uber and Ola, have been similarly affected, although Bolt says he didn’t have to fire to deal with the impact of the pandemic.

The company’s carpooling services are available in more than 150 cities across Europe and Africa. Last year, the company changed its name to Taxify to expand into new areas such as scooter sharing and food. It recently introduced new services for couriers and essential workers to adapt to the crisis.

Villig said Bolt investors – which include German automaker Daimler and Chinese passenger giant Didi Chuxing – “support our long-term vision and do not accept the reckless spending that has become so common in Silicon Valley ”.

“I am more convinced than ever that our efficiency and localization are a fundamental advantage in the on-demand industry,” he added. “This allows us to continue to provide affordable transportation to millions of customers and the best income for our partners in the post-COVID world. “

In December, Villig said his company had reached breakeven or achieved profitability in two-thirds of its markets, but the pandemic has led to some sort of reset of transportation applications. In 2018, the latest figures available to the public, Bolt recorded a net loss of 61 million euros with a turnover of around 80 million euros.

Bolt’s last funding round consisted of a convertible note, a form of short-term debt that can be converted into equity. Naya was the only investor to participate in the cycle and the discussions took place at a distance without any meeting in person.


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