Ride-hailing company, the rival of Uber, Bolt is seeing positive signs of profitability in the majority of the countries it operates in – CEO of Bolt, Markus Villig. In an interview, he said the firm becomes profitable now or near to become profitable in two-thirds of its markets. The company founded in 2013 with name as Taxify, and this year rebranded as Bolt, the start-up gains over twenty-five million customers and five lac drivers in thirty-five countries across Africa and Europe. In June, it launched in London again following a failed attempt to do so without a license of the operator in 2017, and Villig says the company realized loads of traction there with 1.5 million passengers and thirty-thousand drivers signed up to the ride-hailing platform.
On the other hand, Uber that stripped of its license last week, has around 3.5 million users along with forty-five thousand drivers. The Silicon Valley titan that was initially operating in 2012 said it aims to appeal the ban. Just like Uber, Bolt remains unprofitable. The group lost about $67 million (61 million euros) on revenues of around eighty million euros last year. However, Villig said the firm managed to offer lesser prices and takes a fewer commission from drivers than Uber does.
Yet, Uber is the most cost-effective ride-hailing firm in the world. Villig added, attaining firm-wide profitability “primarily comes down to the question of how rapidly they want to expand.” He said London, as well as most of these major markets, need massive investment upfront to appeal enough drivers along with customers to the platform. If the company breaks down on expanding, then it would collapse even next year.
Incredible Interest from Investors
At the age of twenty-five, Villig is the youngest founder of European ride-hailing giant or privately held technology company having worth around $1 billion or even more. At present, Bolt has dialogues with investors for the latest round of funding, and reports suggest that investment can stiff its unicorn status. Currently, investors are watching at which firm has a sustainable and quickly profitable model – Villig. He said, during the last few months, his start-up seen valuable interest from investors. Bolt’s sponsors include German auto manufacturer Daimler and Chinese ride-hailing operator Didi Chuxing.
Furthermore, Villig said that as a company, they have a superposition and focusing on implementation and deliver the best value for drivers and customers. Following the effective launch of Bolt in London, he said he categorically sees the company expanding more across the United Kingdom to cities such as Liverpool and Manchester, but didn’t give an exact time frame when that would happen. Bolt’s chief said by following the strategy, the company begins its services in the capital of any country, the biggest opportunity as well as the biggest problem to solve. After that, they go down gradually into smaller cities.
Bolt stands among many other firms aiming to chip away at the dominance of Uber, especially in London. After the decision of Transport for London (TfL) not to renew the license of Uber last week, Bolt and Kapten (French rival) suddenly started positive publicity on the move. Another ride-hailing app is also making plans for its debut in London within a few weeks. Ola from India, also assisted by SoftBank (Uber investor), recently started registering drivers in the United Kingdom capital ahead of a planned January launch.