Bolt, on of the leading on-demand transport platforms in Africa and Europe, has announced its largest-ever funding in a bid to have cities move in more affordable and sustainable ways.
According to Bolt, part of the funds will be used to accelerate the expansion of the company’s new and existing mobility as well as delivery of products across the Eastern African markets.
The investments are expected to boost ride-hailing services in Kenya, enhance safety features on the platform for drivers and passengers and also accelerate the expansion of Bolt Food.
The firm says the fund will further contribute to a more reliable marketplace, enhance safety features to enhance client experience and make more money for the drivers and couriers.
“We continue to scale up our operations for the benefit of our customers and the communities in which we operate. The funds will speed up the expansion of our existing mobility and delivery products across our region’s markets,” said Micah Kenneth, Regional Manager, Bolt East Africa..
Kenneth added, “We believe that the future of urban transport is a network of on-demand services, including ride-hailing, food and grocery delivery. Bolt focuses on creating quality, affordable and sustainable services that will enhance urban mobility and provide viable economic opportunities across East Africa.”
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.
“For decades, cities have been built for cars, not people. Unfortunately, that has led to unsustainable traffic, pollution and loss of public space to parking places. We think this approach is outdated,” said Markus Villig, founder and CEO at Bolt.
He added, “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.”
He went on, “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 safely and sustainably.”
Bolt recently launched a Women-Only ride category in Kenya aimed at empowering women drivers while providing an alternative to female passengers to flexibly and conveniently move around while feeling safer.
Bolt also announced recently that it was also investing heavily in green transport options across Africa as it also boosts a car-sharing service dubbed Bolt Drive in Europe, and Bolt Market, a 15-minute grocery delivery service.