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Bolt Raises US$182M for Expansion Across Europe & Africa

Bolt, the ride-hailing tech startup from Estonia has raised US$182 million from investors, in the COVID-19 plagued continent, to help people and food move around effortlessly.

Formerly known as Taxify, the tech startup which operates electric scooters, launched its food delivery last year, and is expanding to cover 200 cities in 40 countries across Europe and Africa.

In a coronavirus world where movements are being restricted, companies such Bolt have benefited as city dwellers switch away from public transport and those stuck at home order in more meals.

“This round was the first time we raised with most of the previous round still in the bank, despite the pressures of Covid” said, Markus Villig, CEO of Bolt. “This shows the frugality of the company. Due to lockdowns, we were not as aggressive as we would have liked to be, so financially we are now in a very good position for 2021,”, – he added.

The excited co- founder mentions that, they have almost doubled their number of customers and launched the services from ride-hailing to micro-mobility and food delivery in 50 new cities.

bolt
Bolt in Africa

Bolt currently operates in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

The round was led by D1 Capital Partners,  with participation also from Darsana Capital Partners. D1 has this year been a huge player in growth rounds for some of the very biggest startups.

SEE ALSO |  Agritech Startup, Farmcrowdy, Closes $1 Million in Seed Funding

Bolt, which Villig set up in 2013 after dropping out of college, will invest proceeds from the funding round into safety enhancements, in addition to the SOS buttons already in both its rider and driver apps.

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Funding

ImaliPay: Nairobi Fintech Startup Raises Pre-Seed Funding Led By TEN13

ImaliPay

ImaliPay, a fintech startup helping African freelancers reach their financial goals has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding from the Australian venture capitalist, TEN13, reputed for investing in top-tier start-ups.

The other investors who participated in this pre-seed round include, Finca Ventures, Optimiser Foundation, Mercycorps Ventures, Changecom, and super angels from Norway, Nigeria, UK and Kenya.

ImaliPay is an embedded finance platform that provides and offers tailored financial products that promote the inclusion of gig economy platforms and workers across Africa.

According to ImaliPay, the primary aim of this newly raised funding is to expand and accelerate their growth and footprint in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya to be a one-stop-shop for gig workers’ financial needs on the continent.

The backing of ImaliPay by TEN13 is on the back of recent chain of events that has elevated the visibility of Africa’s fintech startup scene.

Commenting on the deal, Managing Partner of TEN13, Stew Glenn, said,

“We believe this is a perfect opportunity to introduce our growing international network of investment professionals and investors to one of the most exciting emerging fintech companies in Africa.

ImaliPay in 2020 was co-founded by Zimbabwe’s Tatenda Furusa and Sanmi Akinmusire a Nigerian, who were former colleagues at the leading payments company Cellulant. The fintech company thinks the investment from the venture capital has significant benefits.

SEE ALSO |  Ghana's OZÉ Raises $700K with Plans to Expand to Nigeria

In a statement released to the press, Tatenda Furusa said,

It’s a great opportunity for investors to participate in the fintech revolution and a fast-growing segment. Our vision at ImaliPay is to advance financial health and inclusion for gig workers who struggle to manage and access flexible financial services that are often only available to traditional SMEs.

The growth in the African gig workforce is being pushed by the growth in digitization and smartphone penetration. Gig workers constitute a significant proportion of the economy within ImaliPay’s target markets and this market segment is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade.

ImaliPay Users

ImaliPay offers gig workers a one-stop-shop of financial services such as the ability to seamlessly save their income and receive in-kind loans through a “buy now, pay later” model tied to their trade.

Bolt drivers in Kenya can now request a fuel loan and payback after 3-4 days, this allows them to get more work done and Safeboda riders in Nigeria can now buy on credit bike parts, fuel, and smartphones to keep their gig moving and reduce any downtime.

SEE ALSO |  DilenyTech in Egypt Secures US$160K Equity-Free Funding

Other products to be offered off the platform include insurance and investment options to foster a safety net for this hard-working but vulnerable part of the population.

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