Estonian ride-hailing service Bolt raises €100mn in latest financing round

Estonian ride-hailing service Bolt raises €100mn in latest financing round
By bne IntelliNews May 26, 2020

The Estonian ride-hailing service Bolt raised €100mn in funding from Naya Capital, the company said on May 26.

Bolt said it was valued €1.7bn following the capital raise. Naya Capital is a global investment manager founded by Masroor Siddiqui, a non-executive director at News Corp.

“Even though the crisis has temporarily changed how we move, the long-term trends that drive on-demand mobility such as declining personal car ownership and the shift towards greener transportation continue to grow,” Bolt co-founder and CEO Markus Villig said in a statement.

The capital injection comes in spite of Bolt suffering a severe decline in demand for its service in the wake of lockdowns imposed by authorities globally to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The financing round that saw Naya Capital’s commitment consisted of a convertible note, which is a short-term debt that can be converted into equity. Naya also bought into Bolt in July with €60mn.

Bolt, which started as Taxify, currently has over 30mn users in 35 countries, mostly in Eastern Europe and Africa, but also in Kazakhstan, Mexico, and Australia. The company also operates in London and Stockholm. 

Other investors in the company include the European Investment Bank, German carmaker Daimler, the Chinese ride-hailing service DiDi Chuxing, or Nordic Ninja, a Finland-based investment fund targeting startups from northern Europe, backed by Honda, Panasonic, Omron and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.