Estonia’s Bolt posts loss of nearly €45mn for 2020

 Estonia’s Bolt posts loss of nearly €45mn for 2020
The company plans to hire at least 500 more employees in 2021 to support its expansion and product development.
By bne IntelliNews August 17, 2021

Estonian transport service unicorn Bolt Technology OU, which operates under the Bolt brand, announced on August 16 it made a loss of €44.9mn in 2020, while the year before the company's net loss was €85.5mn.

At the same time, Bolt's revenue increased by 74.5% to €221.4mn, according to the company's consolidated annual report.

The company's management acknowledged that revenue was very volatile. Last year started with strong growth for the company, but from March it was accompanied by interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the extensive movement restrictions imposed in most of Bolt's markets, the company's business volumes fell by 80% at the height of the crisis in mid-April compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Founded in 2013, Bolt Technology OU is a mobility platform operating under the Bolt brand that offers taxi, micromobility and food ordering services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In addition to its core ride-hailing product, Bolt offers a car-sharing service, Bolt Drive, and scooter and e-bike sharing. The company's delivery services include Bolt Food, which enables customers to order meals from restaurants, and the most recent addition to Bolt ecosystem is a 15-minute grocery delivery service, Bolt Market. 

The company has continued to expand its scooter rental services.  Rental income increased 11 times during the year and, according to the management, was profitable considering the total costs. During the peak season, Bolt offered scooter and electric bike rental services in 17 countries and 51 cities, and the company's vehicle fleet included 32,000 light-duty vehicles. This made Bolt the third largest European scooter operator of the season.

This year, Bolt plans to continue to expand all three of its areas of activity in existing and new markets. The company also plans to hire at least 500 more employees in 2021 to support the company's expansion and product development. Last year, the company employed 1,798 people.

Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, was founded in 2013 by Markus Villig and operates the Bolt mobile application, which allows people to request a taxi or private driver from their smartphone. It was also the first ride-hailing platform to launch electric scooter rental via its app.

Bolt announced on August 2 that it had closed its largest ever funding round, raising €600mn and increasing its valuation to more than €4bn.