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Bolt has completed two successful funding rounds in the past 6 months and the firm is notably replete with funds to carry out its day-to-day operations.
Estonia-based ride-hailing company Bolt has successfully completed a new funding round where it pulled $711 million (628 million euros) from both its old and new investors. As reported by CNBC, the funding round was led by Sequoia Capital and Fidelity, with participation from Whale Rock, and Owl Rock amongst others.
Following the funding round, Bolt is now valued at $8.4 billion, almost double its previous valuation of $4.8 billion attained in its last round in August. The startup has continued to attract investors as it is positioning itself as the go-to platform in key areas where users are favoring private taxis for commuting.
“Cities increasingly see that they want to switch over from private car ownership” to ride-hailing and other “shared mobility” options like electric scooters and car-sharing, Bolt CEO and co-founder Markus Villig told CNBC in an interview.
Bolt’s success around the world and in Europe especially is attributable to many factors, chief of which is its plans to grow into a ‘Super App’. A super app is a platform where several multiple services are rendered. This innovation is growing at a fast pace in Europe and Bolt remains amongst the pioneers.
The company is seeking to build out its online food and groceries delivery business where it promises a 15-minute timeframe to complete deliveries for customers. The firm is building this service through the aid of its Bolt Market, which it launched in Estonia last year.
Bolt relies on dark groceries stores which take and process only online orders to serve customers. Per the CNBC report, the firm has started serving customers in 10 countries with significant traction in Central and Eastern Europe. As part of its growth strategy, the company plans to launch 100 more locations this year according to the Villig.
While Bolt sees an opportunity in its delivery business, it is not oblivion of all forms of challenges it is billed to experience on all fronts.
“This is not the software business,” Villig said. “This is going to be a heavily competitive operational business. Most of these companies that are expecting this to be some massive profit driver are all going to be very disappointed in a few years.”
Hopes for Bolt to Seek Funding via IPO?
Bolt has completed two successful funding rounds in the past 6 months and the firm is notably replete with funds to carry out its day-to-day operations. When asked whether Bolt will trail the footsteps of its fiercest competitor Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER) which went public about three years ago, Villig said the company has scooped up a lot of funds in the private markets already. He however did not dismiss the potentials of securing funds from the public in the near future.
“In the long term? Most likely, yes, we will go public,” he said. But, he added, “there’s no urgency for us at the moment.”
Bolt’s business strategies are encompassing and the firm is seeing good growth across the board. In the 2020 financial year, the latest of its reports, revenue surged 75% to 221.4 million euros.