Ride hailing Bolt gets €20 million investment from IFC

12Apr 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Ride hailing Bolt gets €20 million investment from IFC

RIDE hailing service firm, Bolt has received an investment of €20 million from the International Finance Corporation of World Bank Group to promote access to mobility services in emerging markets, including Tanzania.

A bolt woman driver ready for duty in Dar es Salaam last week. Photo: Guardian Correspondent.

The investment which includes advisory services by IFC, will help Bolt expand mobility solutions that stimulate small-scale entrepreneurship, increase paid work opportunities and improve access to transportation in African and Eastern European markets.

 “We are looking forward to partnering with IFC to further support entrepreneurship, empower women and increase access to affordable mobility services in Africa and Eastern Europe,” said Bolt Founder and CEO, Markus Villig.

“Together with the investment from the European Investment Bank last year, we are proud to have sizable and strategically important institutions backing us and recognizing the strategic value Bolt is providing to emerging economies,” Villig added.

Commenting on the deal, IFC Senior Vice President of Operations, Stephanie von Friedeburg said technology can and should unlock new pathways for sustainable development and women’s empowerment.

“Our investment in Bolt aims to help tap into technology to disrupt the transport sector in a way that is good for the environment, creates more flexible work opportunities for women, and provides safer and more affordable transportation access in emerging markets,” von Friedeburg added.

Bolt currently operates in seven African countries, providing earning opportunities for more than 400,000 drivers in 70 cities across the continent.  “We are boosting local incomes by empowering a broader section of society to access paid work as drivers on our platform. Our services  also transform urban transport by enabling quick, safe and affordable movement and access to rapid transport for millions of people living in urban centres,” Bolt Tanzania’s Country Manager, RemmyEseka said.

In Tanzania, Bolt offers motor vehicle, bajaji and Boda-Boda services in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Arusha and Mwanza cities. Bolt is the leading European mobility platform that’s focused on making urban travel more affordable, convenient and responsible. Bolt has more than 50 million users in over 40 countries across Europe and Africa. Its services range from ride-hailing to micromobility with e-scooters and electric bikes to food and parcel delivery.

IFC works in more than 100 countries, using its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, IFC invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

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