Uber’s rival Bolt secures £ 17.3million backing from World Bank IFC: what next?
Rival Uber of Estonia, Bolt is one of the main European mobility platforms which aims to make urban travel more convenient, affordable and responsible. The company founded in Tallinn guarantees that all Bolt journeys in Europe are 100% carbon neutral with its Green Plan.
Today, the ridesharing service has raised 20 million euros (nearly £ 17.3 million) of investment from the IFC (International Finance Corporation), a member of the World Bank Group. The investment will be used to increase access to mobility services in emerging markets. In addition, Bolt will be able to develop mobility solutions that create income opportunities, stimulate small-scale entrepreneurship and improve access to transport in Eastern European and African markets through this investment.
Markus Villig, CEO and Founder of Bolt, said: “We look forward to partnering with IFC to further support entrepreneurship, empower women and increase access to affordable mobility services in Africa and Europe. East. With the investment of the European Investment Bank last year, we
are proud to have important and strategically important institutions that support us and recognize the strategic value Bolt brings to emerging economies ”.
Stephanie von Friedeburg, Senior Vice President of Operations at IFC, said: “Technology can and must open new avenues for sustainable development and the empowerment of women. Our investment in Bolt aims to help harness technology to disrupt the transportation sector in a way that is good for the environment, creates more flexible work opportunities for women, and provides safer and more affordable access to transportation. in emerging markets ”.
Targets emerging markets
Initially, Bolt launched its services in South Africa, its first African market in 2016. Currently, the company operates in seven African countries and provides income opportunities to more than 400,000 drivers in 70 cities across the continent. With the new funding from IFC, Bolt will target new markets such as Eastern Europe, notably Ukraine, and African markets, notably Nigeria and South Africa.
In addition, the mobility company is piloting a “Women Only” carpooling category in South Africa. This new service aims to meet safety needs and improve women’s mobility by connecting drivers and passengers. The new round of investment will allow IFC to support Bolt’s ongoing work to empower female motorcyclists and drivers by improving their access to safe and affordable transportation and creating new economic opportunities.
Founded in 2013 by Markus Villig (then only 19 years old, high school student), Bolt (then called Taxify), had the task of consolidating all the taxis of Tallinn and Riga into a single platform. And now the tech unicorn plans to aggressively expand into emerging markets. Uber definitely has a formidable rival to think about.