Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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    Bolt raises $709M at an $8.4B valuation to expand its transportation and food delivery super app – TechCrunch

    Economies of scale are an essential foundation for on-demand companies, so one of the hopes in this area has triggered a big round to grow the business. bolt — The startup and app of the same name that runs on-demand ride hailing, car sharing, and scooters. Restaurant and grocery delivery — Raised € 628 million ($ 709 million at current rates) with a valuation of € 7.4 billion ($ 8.4 billion). Use this money to continue expanding into new regions and attract more consumers and partners to its “SuperAppli”. In addition, new business lines such as the Bolt Market, a 15-minute grocery delivery option, will build “dark stores” in more cities and expand services beyond the currently active 10.

    “All of our business units are growing,” founder and CEO Markus Villig said in an interview this week. Even the most mature business, Ride Hailing, is “seeing double-digit growth,” according to Villig, while smaller new businesses are expanding even more rapidly. “Last year’s new trend is that private cars are bad and more and more people want to use other forms of mobility.” He said that service as part of Bolt’s updated transportation strategy. He added that he is working to partner with more city governments to build.

    Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC, led the round in collaboration with Whale Rock, Owl Rock (a division of Blue Owl), D1, G Squared, Tekne, Ghisallo, and other unnamed backers.

    Financing news concludes a turbulent month for a company that has raised € 600 million with a valuation of over € 4 billion. Only 4 months ago In Series E, also led by Sequoia. Bolt currently has more than 100 million customers in 45 countries and more than 400 cities and uses its services. As a measure of its growth, the company had 75 million customers in August when it announced its last round.

    Bolt’s growth is noteworthy given the challenges faced by competitors due to the impact of Covid. First, the pandemic had a great chilling effect on people trying to get into a car that had to sit in a closed space. With other people (drivers). Then, when things recovered again, the situation got worse, but because it was so quick, many services suffered from a shortage of drivers rather than passengers.

    Villig acknowledged that Bolt also faced “short-term fluctuations” in demand when the blockade was first initiated. However, the focus is on attracting and retaining drivers by paying better commissions than their rivals (usually 10% to 20% higher than their competitors, according to Villig).

    “These platforms are in significant supply shortage, so we are focusing on taking the lowest fees that are most partner friendly,” he said. This has brought great results for Bolt. Volt has more than doubled its monthly revenue compared to pre-Covid sales, Villig said.

    Bolt was founded eight years ago in Tallinn, Estonia (originally as Taxify). This is a strategy that has been moderately expanded across the region, with the mission of bringing ride hailing to emerging markets and countries where other companies like Uber have not yet built a strong foothold. Like Central and Eastern Europe and Africa, Investors like Didi in China — In itself, it has built large businesses in its own emerging markets. (Didi Didi) Sold quietly Investment in Bolt last year. )

    For a long time the focus remained on Europe and Africa, but Bolt found that much of the learning from their initial launch could be applied in more favorable rewards and equally easily in more developed countries. did.

    “We started in Eastern Europe and Africa because there was a greater need for these markets. They had low car ownership and high unemployment. [making for a market with many freelance drivers], That makes sense, “Villig said. “But now I’ve learned that this model works everywhere. Western Europe is a developed market, so it’s actually easy to grow. If you can make this model work in a really cheap and modest market, If you go to London or Stockholm, it turns out to be practically easier. And because of the high prices, the unit economy is definitely better. “However, this is not a perfect system. By working in developed countries, he said, the trade-off is “more regulation” and the associated restrictions.

    Bolt’s diversification approach, on the other hand, has moved beyond cars to scooters, courier services, and now food delivery services, and is part of a scaling strategy. Providing multiple services within a single app not only helps Bolt attract new customers and cross-sell them, but also by placing all options and cross-promotions within a single app. Realize with essentially zero marketing costs.

    “The two factors that make us stand out and favor us are synergies and shared costs between these industries,” he said. Most of Bolt’s competitors usually focus on one thing for each app. Villig continued, “We’re not,” so it’s easier and cheaper for Bolt to build more services with each other. “Now we are returning those savings to our customers.”

    In a statement to TechCrunch, Sequoia’s partner Andrew Reed said, “We are pleased to be able to deepen our partnership with Markus and Bolt and promote their mission to make city travel affordable, sustainable and secure. I will. ” “At Sequoia, we believe in the global potential of technology and entrepreneurship and have been inspired by Bolt’s growth from Tallinn in Estonia to more than 400 cities and 100 million customers in Europe and Africa. We want to help them expand their footprint, increase their product offerings and improve the quality of life in the city in the long run. “

    Bolt raises $709M at an $8.4B valuation to expand its transportation and food delivery super app – TechCrunch Source link Bolt raises $709M at an $8.4B valuation to expand its transportation and food delivery super app – TechCrunch

    The post Bolt raises $709M at an $8.4B valuation to expand its transportation and food delivery super app – TechCrunch appeared first on California News Times.

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