Bolt raises 100 million euros to expand ride-hailing services

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Ride-hailing service Bolt stated on Tuesday it has raised 100 million euros ($109 million) from London-based investment company Naya Capital Management in a deal valuing the European competitor of Uber at 1.7 billion euros ($1.87 billion).

Bolt stated the funding would permit it to grab market share in a sector harmed by COVID-19, as lockdowns have kept consumers indoors, and rivals Uber, Lyft and Softbank-backed Ola slashed thousands of jobs.

“In the next 12-18 months we have an opportunity to win market share,” Bolt founder and Chief Executive Markus Villig informed Reuters in an interview.

“Even though the crisis has temporarily modified how we move, the long-term trends that drive on-demand mobility such as decreasing personal car ownership or the transition towards greener transportation continue to grow,” Villig added.

In April, Bolt turned to Estonia’s government, asking to guarantee a 50 million euros credit, but the company has since ditched the plan.

“We understood soon that from the state side there was no interest and we buried this plan,” Villig said.

Bolt also offers scooter rental and food delivery. Bolt has broadened its food delivery business to 15 nations from four during this year as demand has increased.

“It has multiplied. If you look at countries, from 4 to 15, the deliveries have grown faster,” Villig said.

The 2013-founded Bolt — which has more than 30 million users in 35 countries — has grabbed business from Uber mainly in major African cities and Eastern Europe.

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