Estonian mobility startup Bolt valued at €7.4 billion

The Tallinn, Estonia-based Bolt on 11 January announced its largest ever funding round of €628 million; the startup, founded in 2013 by Markus and Martin Villig as a taxi app, is now valued at €7.4 billion.

The company said in a statement that the funding will “further scale its existing products”. In addition to its original taxi app, Bolt has over the years developed other services for urban environments, such as electric scooters, rental cars and food delivery.

“Over the past eight years we have developed products that offer better and more affordable alternatives for almost every purpose a private car serves,” Markus Villig, a cofounder and the CEO of Bolt, said in a statement.

“That’s why we’re pleased to announce this new round of funding – the biggest in our history – which will help us build a future in which cities have less congestion, less pollution and more green spaces where people can easily move around in a safe and sustainable way,” Villig added.

Markus Villig, the CEO of Bolt, in front of the startup’s offices in Tallinn. Picture by Bolt.

Bolt now valued at almost as much as Wise

The €628 million investment round was led by Sequoia Capital and Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC with participation from Whale Rock, Owl Rock, D1, G Squared, Tekne, Ghisallo, and others. Bolt is now valued almost as much as Wise (formerly TransferWise), the London-based, Estonian-founded startup that is valued at €7.5 billion as of 10 January 2022.

The startup’s earlier investors include the German carmaker Daimler, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank. Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride-hailing firm, was among the previous investors of Bolt, but sold its stake in 2021 for €513 million.

Bolt was founded by Markus and Martin Villig in Tallinn in 2013 as a taxi app called Taxify. It later changed its name to Bolt and has over the years expanded to 45 countries and over 400 cities across Europe and Africa.

Cover: Bolt products pictured in Lisbon, Portugal. Picture by Bolt.

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