Bolt, a transportation platform in European countries, offers affordable urban travel through scooters, car-sharing, and more across 45 countries, primarily in Europe. With a rapid growth rate, Bolt has secured $1.3 billion in company funding. Beyond transportation, it has expanded into food delivery, allowing users to order from local restaurants. The company also facilitates cross-continental franchising, empowering local businesses to operate services through its app.
What is Bolt?
Bolt is a comprehensive mobility app that encompasses various services, including food delivery, car and scooter rentals, and transportation hailing. In addition to earning revenue through e-scooters, car rentals, software subscriptions, and franchise agreements, Bolt clone also collects commissions. The cornerstone of Bolt's business plan lies in its active presence in diverse markets.
Originally known as Taxify, Bolt has evolved into a widely utilized global transportation solution since its inception in 2013, boasting over 75 million users. Offering a plethora of delivery services, such as on-demand vehicles, micro-mobility, courier, and food delivery, Bolt competes fiercely with industry giants like Uber. The Bolt business model relies on charging clients for the array of services it provides, with a strategic focus on thriving in various markets.
Facts & Timeline of Bolt:
- Founders: Markus Villigi
- Year Founded: 2013i
- Headquarters: Tallinn, Estoniai
- Annual Revenue: €1.1 billion (2022)
- Area Served: 45 countries in Europe, Africa, Western Asia, Asia, and Latin America, including Portugal
Discover Bolt: Your One-Stop Urban Mobility Solution! In just a decade since its inception in 2013, Bolt has dramatically reshaped urban transportation across 45 countries. Starting as Taxify in Estonia, it's now a major contender in the mobility market, offering not just ridesharing but also scooters, car rentals, and enticing food delivery options. Despite pandemic hurdles, Bolt has innovatively expanded with services like Bolt Business Delivery and strategic partnerships, including with Google. With an impressive $1.3 billion in funding and a soaring $4.75 billion valuation, Bolt is redefining urban mobility, making every journey convenient and accessible. Join the revolution with Bolt!
Bolt Business Model
Bolt, founded by Markus Villig in 2013 with a €5,000 loan from his parents, began as mTakso before expanding internationally. Now operational in over 150 locations across Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, and select areas in South America, Bolt provides on-demand ridesharing for scooters and various transportation modes.
The Bolt app, initially focused on ride-sharing for taxis, has evolved to include food delivery in multiple countries, aligning with the rising global trend in app-based services. Despite the challenges faced by the ride-sharing industry during the pandemic, Bolt maintained its optimism and refrained from significant layoffs or wage reductions, distinguishing itself from competitors like Uber.
In response to the changing landscape where car ownership is diminishing, Bolt introduced Bolt Business Delivery in March 2020, reflecting its commitment to environmentally friendly transportation solutions.
Partnerships and Developments:
- Collaborated with Google in February 2020.
- Despite global challenges, Bolt remained resilient and avoided substantial layoffs or wage reductions.
- Bolt Business Delivery was introduced in March 2020.
How Bolt Works
Bolt operates through an app-based mobility platform, providing services such as taxis, food delivery, e-scooters, and car rentals in 150 cities. Independent contractors collaborate with Bolt, offering their services on a project basis and receiving payment upon completion.
How does it work?
In essence, Uber functions as an on-demand digital aggregator, seamlessly connecting passengers and drivers to facilitate ride booking and confirmation.
Bolt partners with local restaurants and supermarkets, supplying contractors with the necessary goods. Bolt manages the infrastructure, facilitating transactions between clients and drivers. Beyond ride-hailing and food delivery, the app allows users to rent electric bikes and scooters through the Bolt Scooter Platform, empowering local businesses to run their scooter fleets.
Bolt extends its franchise model to ride-hailing and food delivery, allowing local entrepreneurs to collaborate with Bolt and introduce its services to their regions. The Bolt Dispatcher software platform assists taxi companies with efficient fleet management.
The Bolt app is compatible with iOS and Android devices, available for download, and can be accessed through a browser using the Bolt Web App.
How Bolt Makes Money
- Bolt charges drivers a commission for each ride, which is approximately 10% less compared to some competitors.
- Restaurants pay a lower commission fee for meal deliveries, making Bolt Food an attractive option for local businesses.
2. Service and Delivery Fees
- Customers using Bolt are charged a service fee, making up no more than 10% of the total fare.
- Food orders may incur delivery fees based on the customer's location.
- Orders below the minimum amount might also have a minor order fee.
- Bolt app users can rent e-scooters and other vehicles. For e-scooters, there's an unlocking fee and a per-minute charge
- Bolt operates and owns these e-scooters and possibly cars, keeping all earnings. However, maintenance costs can be high.
- Bolt offers dispatch software to taxi businesses, allowing for efficient fleet management. Taxi drivers paid a monthly subscription fee in the past.
- Bolt generates revenue by franchising its technology to entrepreneurs who start regional ride-hailing businesses.
- Franchisees benefit from Bolt's brand recognition and technological capabilities, shortening their time to market.
Bolt's Funding and Valuation:
- According to Crunchbase, Bolt has secured $1.3 billion in debt and equity capital across 12 rounds.
- Notable investors include D1, Creandum, Niya Capital, G Squared, and Sequoia Capital.
- As of August 2021, Bolt is valued at $4.75 billion, following a Series E investment of $713 million.
As of the most recent financial information available, Bolt generated €221 million in revenue in 2020. This marked a significant increase from the previous year, where the company earned €148 million in revenue. Bolt, originally founded in 2013 in Tallinn, Estonia, by Oliver Leisalu, Martin Villig, and Markus (CEO), has undergone a remarkable success story.
From a young age, Markus Villig, destined for digital entrepreneurship, drew influence from his brother Martin, an early Skype employee who later ventured into entrepreneurship himself. Markus initiated his entrepreneurial journey by creating websites for local businesses while still in high school. The inspiration for Bolt emerged when Markus and Martin found it challenging to order cabs in Tallinn due to limited operators, high prices, and long wait times.
Originally known as mTakso, the company changed its name to Taxify and evolved into a cab aggregator. Markus, borrowing money from his parents, developed the prototype for the app, with a few hundred taxi drivers signing up for the launch in August 2013.
UBERApps and Taxi App Developmen
UBERApps has played a significant role in assisting over 200 business owners in starting their digital journeys. The company offers white-label ready-made clone scripts for taxi services like Bolt, providing ready-to-launch solutions. With an in-house team of specialists, including professional designers and developers, UBERApps offers end-to-end support. Customized quotes cater to various budget requirements, and their proven expertise is demonstrated through the deployment of similar applications.
Bolt's business model, combining on-demand transportation with a peer-to-peer approach and a user-friendly platform, has revolutionized traditional ride-sharing services. Positioned as an industry standard, Bolt is likely to remain a major player in the ride-sharing market, promising customers increased affordability, convenience, and safety features. The company's success sets a benchmark, driving competitors to replicate it and brightening the future of ride-sharing services with ongoing innovation and improvements to the user experience.
If you are looking to develop a ride-sharing app or any mobile app, it's essential to collaborate with a reputable app development team. You've mentioned having experience building taxi booking apps for startups, which is crucial. When reaching out to potential development teams, consider discussing your specific requirements, the features you envision for your app, and any unique aspects that set your idea apart.Looking out to start your own venture like Bolt? Try out our HireMe Taxi Blot Clone, the easiest way to kick-start your taxi business.
Vinay Jain is the Founder of UBERApps and brings over 10 years of entrepreneurial experience. His focus revolves around software & business development and customer satisfaction.