Bolt CEO: Ride-Hailing Firm Nearing Profitability In Most Markets

CEO: Bolt Nearing Profitability In Most Markets

The CEO of Bolt, an Estonian-based ride-hailing company, said his company is beginning to see profitability in most of the markets in which it operates, according to a report by CNBC.

Markus Villig told the news organization that the company is close to breaking even in about 66 percent of markets. He said that achieving profitability “mainly comes down to the question of how quickly we want to expand.”

“London and most of these big markets require huge investment upfront to attract enough drivers and customers to the platform,” he said. “If we were to stop expanding, we would break even next year.”

The company, which was originally called Taxify, has 25 million users and half a million drivers in about 35 countries in Europe and Africa.

Bolt previously tried to launch in London, but didn’t have an operator’s license. It tried again this year after obtaining a license and was accepted. Villig shared that London has been especially busy for the company, with a million and a half passengers and 30,000 drivers.

Uber recently lost its operating license in London, although it is allowed to operate during the appeal process. Uber has about 3.5 million users and 45,000 drivers in the country.

While it is on the path to profitability, Bolt is still not making money. It lost 61 million euros on revenues of around 80 million euros in 2018. Villig, who at 25 is the youngest CEO of a private European company worth more than one billion dollars, said Bolt is the “most cost-efficient ride-hailing company in the world.”

“Now investors are looking at which company (has) a sustainable model and could be profitable quickly,” Villig said. His company, he added, is getting “tremendous interest from investors,” including Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing and German carmaker Daimler.

“What it means for us as a company is that we have a great position to be really heads-down and stay focused on execution and provide the best value for customers and drivers.”