BusinessDay

Bolt raises $713m to accelerate transition to shared mobility in Africa, emerging markets

Bolt, Africa’s mobility platform has raised its largest-ever funding round at $713 million to further scale its existing products and accelerate the transition from owned cars to shared mobility in cities.

The 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, among others bringing Bolt’s valuation to a total of $8.4 billion.

“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 We think this approach is outdated.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,” Markus Villig, founder and CEO at Bolt, said.

With the new funding round, the company is on a mission to 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.

It will also accelerate the transition from owned cars to shared mobility, offering better alternatives for every use case, including ride-hailing, shared cars and scooters, as well as food and grocery delivery.

Since it’s entrance into the Nigerian market in 2016,

Bolt says it plans to expand its services in Nigeria by offering a better alternative to move around cities and towns as well as enjoy a variety of its food services.

“Bolt is redefining urban mobility by helping people move seamlessly and helping the environment and the cities grow sustainably. Bolt is an innovative company and with the investment, the mission is to ease mobility for every Nigerian,” Femi Akin-Laguda, Country Manager, Bolt Nigeria said.

Last month, Bolt announced a range of new safety features to be incorporated on its scooter-sharing network, which 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 whereby scooters are only used in a safe and responsible manner.

Read also: How Bolt is advancing the growth of Nigeria’s sector

Scooter-sharing is 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.

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,” Villig said.

Other products 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 $681 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, in addition to its 100 million customers in 45 countries and presence in over 400 cities across Europe and Africa.

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