Bolt announces ongoing post-pandemic growth to mark ninth anniversary

31 Aug 2022

Bolt announces ongoing post-pandemic growth to mark ninth anniversary

We’ve just announced a quadrupling of our business since the pandemic started, recording our most successful month on record in July 2022.

We launched two new products during the pandemic and now have operations in 45 countries and over 500 cities across Africa and Europe — an increase of over 200% before the pandemic. 

Bolt’s continuous growth 

Globally, we’ve tripled our customer base to over 100 million since the beginning of  2020, added more than two million new drivers to the platform, and doubled the size of our workforce to more than 3000 employees. 

We’ve also opened several new offices over the past year, including engineering hubs in Berlin and Nairobi. And we continue to advertise over 350 open roles with a view to hiring 700 more employees by the end of 2022. 

Celebrating the ninth anniversary

Markus Villig, Bolt’s CEO, founded the company in Tallinn, Estonia, in August 2013. Then just a teenager, Markus personally recruited the first drivers to the platform on the streets of Tallinn and has since built a business valued at €7.6bn at the time of its latest funding round.

“The pandemic was the most significant economic shock in generations, so hitting milestones like 100 million customers and operations in over 500 cities are achievements we’re really proud of. 

When Bolt was founded, our mission was to challenge the traditional taxi industry in Tallinn through a new ride-hailing service. Now, our size and the range of products we offer put us in a unique position to revolutionise how people move around the cities. By providing an alternative to private cars, we can help create cities that are greener, safer and more pleasant to live in.

“It’s important to stay grounded, though — rising inflation and interest rates mean we have to be disciplined when assessing how and in what markets we invest. We’ll prioritise growth efforts in our existing markets instead of expanding our services into new countries. Our culture of frugality helped us come out of the pandemic in a strong position, but the challenges will not stop, and the team is focused on preparing for and responding to them.”

Bolt launched in South Africa in April 2016 and, in several short years, has revolutionised the method of travel for many local citizens. With 5 categories available, including Go, Bolt, Comfort, Premium and Van, the e-hailing app offers a ride-option built for any budget and need. Further to this, Bolt launched Bolt Food in April 2020, providing access to immediate and affordable food delivery at just a tap, while giving restaurants an additional channel to earn and customers another way to order their must-have foods. 

“Since launching in South Africa, we’ve become one of the biggest regions in which Bolt operates globally. It’s an exciting time for us, as we continue to innovate the app by adding additional ride options and work towards increasing our safety features to ensure that citizens have access to safe, affordable and quality rides, trip after trip,” says Takura Malaba, Country Manager of Bolt South Africa. 

Join the ride

Bolt is the first European super-app with over 100 million customers in over 45 countries across Europe and Africa. We seek to accelerate the transition from owned cars to shared mobility, offering better alternatives for every use case.

If you support our vision and want to help us build cities for people, not cars, check out our open vacancies and join us on our journey. 

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