Bolt, the European mobility platform and one of London’s biggest ride-hailing operators, has raised £135million (€150million) in its biggest funding round yet.
The investment was led by D1 Capital Partners with the participation of Darsana Capital Partners. Bolt has said it will use the funds to further enhance the “safety and quality of its products“ as it continues to grow ride-hailing, micromobility and food delivery in Europe and Africa.
In the UK, Bolt has 50,000 drivers accepted onto its platform and 2 million passengers signed up across London.
Earlier this month, Bolt released its 4th generation scooter, developed by the company’s in-house hardware team, with sensors that detect unsafe riding patterns as well as “optimised construction for extra stability and safe manoeuvring“.
In 2021, Bolt say it is planning to roll out new functionalities to further enhance the safety of its products, such as automated trip monitoring to predict and prevent potential incidents with the use of artificial intelligence.
Markus Villig, CEO and co-founder of Bolt, said: “Despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bolt has seen immense growth in the past year. We have almost doubled our number of customers and launched our services from ride-hailing to micromobility and food delivery in 50 new cities.
“Millions of customers already love Bolt for our affordable prices and fast service. In 2021, we are doubling down to be the industry leader in safety and quality of the platform. We’re planning to launch even more innovative solutions like driver face verification and automatic trip monitoring, using machine learning to prevent potential incidents and ensure the highest quality service for our customers.”
Dan Sundheim, founder of D1 Capital, said: “We are excited to partner with Bolt as they continue to build a market-leading mobility platform across Europe and Africa. The team has executed incredibly well during a challenging year and continues to provide millions of users with safety, flexibility and great value. We are optimistic about the growth opportunity ahead for Bolt after the COVID-19 pandemic and look forward to supporting the team as they invest in innovation over the coming years.”
In 2020, Bolt expanded to cover 200 cities in 40 countries and reached 50 million users globally. In addition to its ride-hailing vertical, Bolt say it is planning to become the biggest micromobility provider in Europe, launching scooters in more than 100 cities next season. Bolt Food, launched in 2019, is currently available in 16 countries and 33 cities.