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Estonia is officially the land that created Europe’s hottest unicorn

Bolt, the Estonian-founded and headquartered global transportation platform providing ride-hailing and scooter sharing services, was chosen Europe's hottest unicorn at The Europas Awards 2020.

Bolt raised €100 million from Naya Capital Management this year, pushing its valuation to €1.7 billion. The Estonian business will use the funds to increase its market share by investing in its ridehailing, food delivery and e-scooter segments, TechChrunch writes, adding: “The investment comes as many ridehailing companies are struggling amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.” Bolt is Europe’s third fastest growing company in FT 1000 for the second year in a row.

“It is a great example of how startups can scale up from Estonia, Bolt’s headquarters are still in the country, and now they are growing their own capital and reinvesting it in the ecosystem,” the Head of the Estonian Investment Agency Raido Lember explained in an interview to FDI Intelligence earlier this month.

He stressed Daimler AG’s role in pushing Bolt’s value over $1bn, making it officially a unicorn in 2018. “Startups can make big companies more efficient, and at the same time big companies can provide startups with the growth capital and long-term support,” he said, bringing the example of Daimler AG that invested $175M in Bolt.

Bolt was the winner of Invest in Estonia’s first ever Startup Demo Day, an online startup event held during the COVID-19 situation this spring.

“The situation after the spread of COVID-19 is a perfect situation for large companies and start-ups to collaborate,” Lember stressed.

Taavet Hindrikus, the co-founder of another Estonian-founded company, TransferWise, received this year’s “Pathfounder” Of The Year award.

The Europas Awards cover 22 categories, including new additions such as AgTech / FoodTech, SpaceTech and GovTech.

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