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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.

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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.

Funding

Curacel: Insurtech Startup Secures $450K Pre-seed Funding Led by Atlantica Ventures & Consonance

Curacel

The insurtech startup, Curacel, an AI-powered platform for claims processing and fraud management in Africa, reports that it has raised $450,000 pre-seed funding in a round that was led by Atlantica Ventures and Consonance with participation from Kepple Ventures and other African angel investors.

The new investment will be used to accelerate Curacel’s expansion across Africa and facilitate the goal of becoming Africa’s premier provider of embedded finance technology for insurance.

The insurtech startup already works with some of the biggest insurers on the continent, including AXA Mansard, Liberty Health and Old Mutual, as well as more than 800 hospitals in Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. It plans to expand into 10 new African countries by the end of 2021.

Every year, African insurers lose more than $12 billion to fraudulent, wasteful, and abusive claims. Curacel’s flagship CLAIMS platform acts as a bridge between primary care hospitals and Africa’s insurance companies, using advanced artificial intelligence to ensure that insurance companies only pay claims for the correct treatment, appropriate medications and recommended patient therapies. 

Curacel

Curacel is also scheduled to launch Curacel Capital, a cash advance product that makes it easier for healthcare providers to access working capital to mitigate financial challenges. Delayed payments and other inefficiencies in the payment process means many African healthcare providers often have to make the difficult choice between keeping the books balanced or providing healthcare at a loss. With Curacel Capital, healthcare providers can access lump sums of up to three times their average monthly billings, based on claims processed on the Curacel portal, ensuring that they can continue to deliver essential services without undue disruption.

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With insurance penetration at just 2.8% across the continent, many Africans are one accident or health emergency away from poverty. And in Africa’s communal societies, tragedy impacts entire communities, with people emptying their savings to pay for medical expenses, burials or other disaster relief for family members and kin. By leveraging Curacel’s products and services, insurers across the continent are better equipped to close the insurance gap and safeguard prosperity. 

According to Curacel Co-founder and CEO, Henry Mascot, in a press statement said,

“We are excited to have these investors on board and we are looking forward to partnering with them to drive our vision of improving insurance inclusion across Africa.”

At Curacel he shares, they are uniquely positioned to safeguard livelihoods and increase the quality of life through their unique, market-leading products and services. 

IK Kanu, Partner at Atlantica Ventures noted that,

“The African insurance market represents a significant growth opportunity and we are delighted to be partnering with Curacel to drive growth in this sector. There is an opportunity to create an entirely new market of products and services here and we look forward to supporting the team to improve health outcomes across the continent.” 

Finally, Mobolaji Adeoye, the Managing Partner at Consonance adds that they believe the Curacel team has what it takes to be market leaders and are therefore excited to support them. Also stressing that they have a great product and equally delighted to be coming onboard at this early stage of their growth.

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