Bolt, formerly Taxify raises $67M in funding for international expansion


Bolt, formerly Taxify has raised $67 million in growth funding for its global expansion plans according to a new report by TechCrunch. Bolt says the funding is part of a bigger round which is ongoing but brings the valuation of the company to over $1 billion, joining the unicorn club. 

Four months ago, TechMoran reported that the popular ride-hailing company was rebranding from Taxify to Bolt in line with its vision of the rapidly evolving transportation industry.

Bolt CEO and co-founder, Markus Villig said, “Taxify launched five years ago with a mission to make urban transportation more convenient and affordable. Our first product was a taxi dispatch solution that gave the company its original name.”

Villig said the rebrand to Bolt serves several purposes, among them channeling the basic definition of the word bolt, speed, and electricity.

“We are bullish that the future is fully electric and so we wanted a name that moved us away from the combustion engine,” he said. The shift from using the word taxi also allows the company to explore other modes of transportation aside from cars. The company plans to add smaller vehicles such as scooters to it’s fleet.

In May, Bolt hired Nigerian Olaoluwa Akinnusi as the new Country Manager for Bolt Kenya as the firm looks to expand its operations and business across Kenya.

Prior to joining Bolt, Akinnusi was an employee at Jumia and for the last three years served as their Global Head of Operations & Logistics, where he oversaw supply chain management, operations strategy development, implementation and growth across the 7 African countries within his purview.

After the executive appointment, the firm expanded into 3 major urban centers in Kenya to make it the first ride-hailing platform in Kenya to have the biggest footprint.

According to Ola Akinnusi, the Bolt Country Manager in Kenya, “Launching in these areas will allow us to provide a safe and affordable avenue for passengers to get a ride.”

Akinnusi added that it was natural that Bolt would gradually expand across the country after operations in Nairobi and Mombasa cities. The firm is now looking at building new communities in Kisumu, Kakamega, and Thika as it continues to gain the trust of the Kenyan people. 

Bolt is also widening the scope of the business that now extends to private cars, e-scooters and motorcycles as well as food delivery in some parts of the world. The raise, if confirmed will help bolster these verticals in various markets across Africa.