Markus Villig, CEO of Bolt
Bolt, the Estonian company best known for its hail business, announced Tuesday that it has launched a car sharing service in Europe to diversify its revenue streams.
As with ZipCar and Drivy, customers with Bolt Drive can rent a car for a short time on request via the Bolt app, which can also be used to stop a taxi, rent bicycles and e-scooters, and order groceries.
Bolt announced that it will invest 20 million euros in rolling out Bolt Drive in Europe this year, starting with a pilot project in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, where the company’s headquarters are located. A company spokesman said Bolt Drive will roll out in several other European markets this year if the Tallinn pilot is successful.
The driver will showcase 500 vehicles, including models such as the Toyota Yaris, Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Scala, as well as larger cars such as the Toyota CHR, Volkswagen Troc and Skoda Kamiq. There will also be electric cars like the Volkswagen ID.3 and premium cars like the Volkswagen Arteon.
The cost varies depending on the car you rent. A Toyota Yaris, for example, costs 0.07 euros per minute (with an hourly upper limit of 3.90 euros) and 0.15 euros per km. This means that the price of renting a Toyota Yaris for two hours and a journey of 10 km would be EUR 9.30. Users don’t have to pay for parking or fuel.
Markus Villig, CEO and founder of Bolt, said in a statement that he would like people to give up their own cars. “In order for people to move from ownership to on-demand transportation, we need to offer a more convenient, affordable and environmentally sustainable option for any distance,” said Villig, who became the youngest founder of a billion-dollar company in Europe in 2019.
“We’re already doing this for short and medium haul trips. Bolt Drive now covers the rest of the use cases, whether it’s a trip to a mall or a weekend getaway.”
Bolt, which claims to have more than 50 million users in 40 countries in Europe and Africa, is valued at around $ 2 billion. Last December, the largest financing round to date raised EUR 150 million and last month EUR 20 million from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).