The Estonian ridesharing company, Bolt, is the third fastest growing company in Europe, according to the Financial Times, the London-based global business publication.
The Financial Times listed 1,000 Europe’s fastest-growing companies in its fourth annual list on the topic, taking into account the revenue growth between 2015 and 2018. The Estonian ridesharing startup, Bolt, was the third fastest growing, with a compound annual growth rate of 407.4% and an absolute growth rate of 12,959.7%. While its revenue in 2015 was just over half a million euro, in 2018 it was almost €80 million.
Bolt was launched as Taxify by the Estonian startup entrepreneurs, Markus and Martin Villig, in 2013. Markus, then just a 19-year-old student, had been left frustrated by the waiting time and expense of taxis in the Estonian capital, Tallinn – especially in the weekend nights when returning from a night out. He launched a mobile app that allows people to request a taxi or private driver from their smartphone and the app also shows the price and waiting time.
Bolt later also expanded into electric scooters and food delivery services and currently operates in over 30 countries and in more than 150 cities around the world. In 2019, Bolt became a unicorn – a startup with the valuation over USD1 billion, according to the New York City-based research firm, CB Insights.
A growing importance of technology companies
The Financial Times said in a foreword of this year’s index that the ever-greater pace of growth suggests that the most nimble and innovative companies are thriving. “The ranking reflects the growing importance of technology, which once again dominates with 189 entrants hailing from the sector. When this is added to the related but discrete categories of fintech and ecommerce, that total climbs to 259,” the newspaper said.
Companies from Germany, Italy, the UK and France dominate the list, with these four nations accounting for about 70 per cent of the overall ranking. London retains its lead as the city with the greatest number of fast-growing companies, followed by Paris and Milan, while Warsaw and Vilnius make the top 10 for the first time.
Cover: Markus Villig, Bolt’s cofounder and CEO, in London with one of the company’s cars (Bolt).