The Ride-Hailing Service declared that it was able to raise 20 million Euros from the world bank’s private sector arm IFC to expand itself in the emerging market. Bolt is a transportation platform that offers ride-hailing, package delivery, micromobility, and scooter-sharing services. It was formerly known as Taxify. This firm was established in 2013 by Martin Villig, Markus Villig and Oliver Leisallu and is known to have more than fifty million users in over forty countries. It has also grabbed business opportunities from Uber Technologies Inc., mainly in Eastern Europe and Africa’s major cities.
The chief operating officer of the International Finance Corporation, Stephanie von Friedeburg, stated that ‘With our investment in Bolt, we hope to use technology to transform the transportation industry in a way that benefits the environment, gives women more flexible employment options, and makes transportation more accessible and less expensive in developing countries.’
According to the corporation, as part of its Green Plan, a long-term commitment to lessen the ecological imprint of the company, every Bolt ride in Europe is entirely carbon-neutral. The firm also provides safety measures on its rider and driver apps, such as an SOS button to call emergency services instantly.
IFC is the biggest international development organization focusing on the private sector in emerging nations and is a part of the World Bank Group. It operates in more than 100 nations, utilizing its resources, knowledge, and clout to open up markets and possibilities in emerging nations. In order to use the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and increase shared prosperity, IFC invested $22 billion in private businesses and financial institutions in developing nations in 2020.
The money from IFC will be directed toward African markets like Nigeria and South Africa and Eastern European areas like Ukraine. In order to promote women’s mobility and address safety concerns, Bolt is now testing a “Women Only” ride-hailing category in South Africa. The new service pairs female drivers with female customers. IFC will assist Bolt is continuing its efforts to improve the accessibility of safe and cheap transportation for women and provide new employment prospects.
“We are excited to cooperate with IFC to boost entrepreneurship further, empower women, and improve access to cheap mobility services across Africa and Eastern Europe,” said Markus Villig, CEO and Founder of Bolt. He said that the company is honored to have significant and strategically significant organizations supporting them in addition to the investment from the European Investment Bank last year. They both acknowledge the strategic value Bolt is bringing to emerging nations according to him.
Nigeria, Bolt’s second African market, was introduced in 2016. The ride-hailing business presently runs in seven African nations and offers employment to over 400,000 drivers in 70 locations around the continent.