Uber's rival bolt close funding

Since Uber and Lyft have gone public, there haven’t been significant changes in the level of competition. However, Uber just lost a large sum of money. Uber’s Rival, Bolt, is an Estonian scooter, ride-sharing, and food delivery company. It operates throughout Europe and recently opened a business in London. The Company has completed the first tranche of its funding. This move makes the overall value of the Company to $1 billion. Bolt is planning to grow internationally.

A Bolt spokesperson said in a recent statement to the press, “We have just closed a successful funding round. We will use this funding to support our London based office and more expansion in 2019.” Although the Bolt representative didn’t give the exact size of the round, it would be Series C. Bolt has raised around $185 million in the last round, which increases its value to over $1 billion.

Popular backers of this funding include Creandum, G Squared, and Naya Capital, founded by investor Mansoor Siddiqui. Another popular investor in the Company is the Nordic Ninjas, a new fund backed by Japanese LPs. Its main goal is to invest in Northern European startups. Bolt will release the names of other investors in the coming weeks. However, the previous investors of Bolt include, Daimler, Korelya Capital, Spring Capital, and Didi.

Bolt has been talking about this new funding for some time now. The CEO of the Company, Markus Villig, said about four months ago that they are continuously getting more funding. However, a memo sent to the TMT investors shows that the funding closed this month. It appears that this isn’t the final funding session as more investors want to invest in the Company.

G Squared has supported many tech startups, like SoFi, Airbnb, Spotify, Instacart, and Pinterest. Some big names in transportation backed by G Squared include uto1, Turo, Fair, Uber, Lyft, and Getaround. The involvement of G Squared promises a strong growth story, along with big sums of money.

The main shareholder of Nordic Ninjas is Honda. The owner of Mercedes invested in Bolt when it was called Taxify. This gives an interesting twist to the investment. It will provide the Company with the boost to make its first move in the Middle East and enter the Japanese market. Many new companies are making their names in the Arabic world, Western Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Japan is one of the only developed countries in the world, which has banned rides hailing business. In simple terms, Japan has banned the system where an individual or a group of people, give transportation services to other individuals.

This has led to two different results. Firstly, companies like Uber have to collaborate with local transportation companies to get entry into the Japanese market. Secondly, with the passage of time, established taxi companies have now become the biggest operators of the ride-hailing apps. Therefore, we can conclude that presently, there is no room for more ride-hailing companies in Japan.

Getting an operating license is another big challenge in Japan. Didi is a ride-hailing Chinese Company and an investor in Bolt. Last year, it launched its own app in Japan. Didi’s worth is $56 billion and it entered Japan by collaborating with Softbank. Its major competitors in Japan are Uber and JapanTaxi. The Company works with almost 10 fleets. It provides logistics on these third-party services. Uber’s rival Bolt also operates on the same model. It has helped the Company in getting popular in the market quicker. Due to this model, Bolt has covered a lot of ground in a short time.

An important thing to consider here is that Uber’s rival Bolt’s current success is mainly because it hasn’t overlapped with Uber and Didi. As the Company keeps on growing, it will have severe competition from both Didi and Uber. Once that happens, it will be interesting to see how the patterns change and who takes the lead.