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Estonia’s unicorn Bolt raises €150M

Ride-hailing unicorn company Bolt - a product of the ultimate unicorn factory, Estonia - raised 150 million euros in its biggest funding round ever.

The investment was led by D1 Capital Partners, with the participation of Darsana Capital Partners. According to TechCrunch, D1 has this year been a huge player in growth rounds for some of the very biggest startups: it has made investments in eyewear giant Warby Parker, gaming engine maker Unity, car sales portal Cazoo, and fintech TransferWise, collectively with valuations into the multiple billions of dollars.

Uber’s competitive Bolt, previously known as Taxify, operates in ride-hailing, electric scooters and food delivery sectors. Bolt is rapidly expanding to cover 200 cities in 40 countries across Europe and Africa.

“We have almost doubled our number of customers (this year) and launched our services from ride-hailing to micromobility and food delivery in 50 new cities,” said Markus Villig, Bolt’s CEO and co-founder.

Earlier this month, Bolt released its 4th generation scooter, developed by the company’s in-house hardware team to become the safest model on the market thanks to the sensors that detect unsafe riding patterns as well as optimised construction for extra stability and safe manoeuvring.

In 2021, Bolt plans to roll out new functionalities to further enhance the safety of its products, such as automated trip monitoring to predict and prevent potential incidents with the use of artificial intelligence.

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