Uber rival Bolt raises 100 million euros to finance its expansion

  • Estonian company raises 100 million euros from Naya Capital
  • Bolt has sped up new services to deal with hit from pandemic
Aerial Views Of Rush Hour Traffic
Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Bolt Technology OU closed a new funding round to bolster its main business and services launched to deal with the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis, boosting the Estonian ride-hailing company’s value to 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion).

The Tallinn-based company formerly known as Taxify, a rival to Uber Technologies Inc., received 100 million euros from Naya Capital Management, bringing total funds raised by Bolt to more than 300 million euros, it said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Naya has invested in Bolt since 2019.

Last month, local media reported Bolt was seeking credit support from the Estonian government after a switch to quarantine-friendly services didn’t make up for lost revenue. Launched in 2013, the Didi Chuxing and Daimler AG-backed company has more than 30 million users globally.

Operating in more than 150 cities across Europe and Africa, Bolt has expedited the opening of new services in the past several months like food delivery covering 12 countries and a new courier business.

“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,” Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Markus Villig said in the statement.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

Uber last week announced another round of job cuts as part of efforts to focus on a few key regions and businesses to survive the pandemic, while its main alternative in North America, Lyft Inc., is cutting about 17% of staff, furloughing more and reducing salaries.

Bolt has been among the biggest beneficiaries of the Estonian government’s job retention measure. The company has furloughed its more than 500 employees in the country. Under the program, extended until the end of June, a state fund covers most of its labor costs.


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