Estonian transportation startup Bolt launches in Russia

The Tallinn-based transportation platform, Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, started operations in Russia on 18 April by launching its ride-hailing services in the country’s second-largest city, St Petersburg.

Bolt will offer competition in a market dominated by the Russia-based company, Yandex.Taxi.

“Russia is a rapidly growing on-demand transportation marketplace. Bolt’s launch in St Petersburg will bring more choice to both customers and drivers,” Jevgeni Beloussov, the head of Central and Eastern Europe at Bolt, said in a statement.

Bolt, launched by Estonian startup entrepreneurs Markus and Martin Villig as Taxify in 2013, has to date raised US$175 million to fuel its expansion across Europe and Africa. It has most recently launched its services in Finland, Sweden and Croatia, while the company already has more than 25 million customers in more than 30 countries. Bolt has also rolled out an electric kick scooter service in Paris and Madrid and announced plans to launch a food delivery service across its core markets.

St Petersburg is home to five million people and is the fourth-largest city in Europe, after Istanbul, Moscow and London. In 2018, it hosted more than eight million tourists.

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Cover: View from the Colonnade, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Saint Petersburg (the image is illustrative/Wikimedia).

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