Mobility app Bolt has announced its largest-ever funding round, with the aim of further scaling its existing products and accelerating the transition from private cars to shared mobility in cities.

The Estonian company, which has a presence in Malta, said the €628 million investment round was led by Sequoia Capital and Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC with participation from Whale Rock, Owl Rock (a division of Blue Owl), D1, G Squared, Tekne, Ghisallo, and others, and takes Bolt’s valuation to €7.4 billion.

“For decades, cities have been built for cars, not people. That has led to unsustainable traffic, pollution and loss of public space to parking places. We think this approach is outdated,” said Markus Villig, Founder and CEO at Bolt.

Over the past eight years, Mr Villig added, Bolt had developed products that offered better and more affordable alternatives for almost every purpose a private car serves. The company has partnered with cities to help people make the switch towards light vehicles such as scooters and e-bikes and shared mobility options like ride-hailing and car-sharing to transform urban areas back into sustainable, people-friendly spaces.

“That’s why we’re pleased to announce this new round of funding – the biggest in our history – which will help us build a future in which cities have less congestion, less pollution and more green spaces where people can easily move around in a safe and sustainable way.”

A spokesperson for Bolt said part of the fund would be used to grow and expand its services in Malta.

Last month, Bolt announced a range of new safety features to be incorporated on its scooter-sharing network, the largest in Europe. These features include a tandem riding prevention system, which can detect more than one person riding a scooter at the same time, a cognitive reaction test to ensure riders stay as safe as possible, and a skid prevention system meaning scooters are only used in a safe and responsible manner.

Serving more than 100 million customers in 400 cities in 45 countries across Europe and Africa, Bolt’s other services include its ride-hailing service, meal-delivery app Bolt Food, car-sharing service Bolt Drive, and Bolt Market, a grocery delivery service. 

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