Bolt raises €628m in its largest funding round to date

11 Jan 2022

The Bolt e-bike. Image: Bolt

The Estonian start-up plans to grow its existing services, including a rapid expansion of its grocery delivery option.

European mobility company Bolt has announced its largest ever funding round of €628m led by Sequoia Capital and Fidelity Management and Research Company.

Other investors that participated were Whale Rock, Owl Rock (a division of Blue Owl), D1 Capital, G Squared, Tekne and Ghisallo. This funding round has raised Bolt’s valuation to €7.4bn as it plans to expand its products and services.

One of the Estonian start-up’s latest additions is Bolt Market, a grocery delivery service that currently operates in 10 countries across Europe. The company plans to rapidly expand this service and have hundreds of Bolt Market stores operational by the end of the year.

As well as grocery delivery, Bolt also operates e-scooter and e-bike rental schemes, taxi-hailing and car-sharing services, and food delivery. It announced new safety features for its scooter-sharing network last month, including a tandem riding prevention system and skid prevention measures.

“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,” Bolt CEO Markus Villig said.

Bolt launched in Ireland in December 2020, rolling out its taxi-hailing product to compete with existing apps FreeNow and Uber. The company’s regional manager for Western Europe, Sam Raciti, said the ride-hailing business in Dublin finished strongly last year, doubling its fleet and tripling its passenger base.

“These funds will allow Bolt as a company to continue to grow, something we very much plan on mirroring in Ireland. What’s more, we’re really excited at the prospect of being able to build some of our other leading mobility products – like our electric scooters and bikes – into our offering and continue to help cities change the way people move around for the better,” Raciti added.

In March 2021, the company promised to roll out 10,000 e-scooters in Ireland, a month after draft legislation paved the way for the regulation of e-scooters and e-bikes on Irish roads. When the regulation was approved in October, Bolt was one of several micromobility start-ups eyeing the Irish e-scooter market.

The company has grown rapidly since its founding in 2013, and was valued at €4bn in August 2021 after it raised €600m in a Series E funding round led by Sequoia Capital. The company said it now has 100m customers in more than 400 cities across Europe and Africa.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic