According to company emails, press releases, tweets and other media coverages, Estanio ride-hailing firm backed by Didi and Daimler, has rebranded its name and vision to “Bolt” and further offering more transportation options beyond private cars.
We are happy to announce that Taxify is now Bolt! ⚡️ 👋 🎉
It’s time for our name to reflect our mission of building the best way to move in cities, be it by car, scooter or motorbike. pic.twitter.com/8iwWOTmbEm— Bolt South Africa (Taxify) (@Boltapp_za) March 7, 2019
Something That’s Going To Shake Uber?
No doubt, Uber is the king of cab-hailing and has very well become the household name used to refer to any professional ride-sharing service around the world. No arguments too, the competition for passengers around the world is compounded with a heckload of steam, initiating many country and city expansions by different Uber rivals such as Lyft, Mondo Ride, Little Cab and other regional ride-hailing startups with one ambitious move or the other.
It is perhaps the same fierce competition that prompts Taxify to turn towards the electric vehicle market at full steam. While Uber assumes market dominance around the world, the rebranding move on the part of the Markus Villig-led company is a sure threat to the former. The company wants to double down on its existing electric scooter service and offer even more services its competitors are seemingly yet to think of. Perhap’s Taxify’s promising nature is what’s prompting the multiple of acquisition requests, but none that the CEO is willing to consider at the time.
Taxify – sorry, Bolt – who has implemented the rebranding across its app, social media platforms and website, is also in pursuit of another funding round to fuel its lofty ambitions. The Estonian e-hailing company last raised capital in May 2018, when it won USD 175 from a Daimler-led investor group who is Mercedes-Benz’s parent company- in a round that brought its valuation to USD 1 Bn. While Uber’s growth dramatically slowed down last year, the competitor is burning less than USD 1 Bn yearly.
After Toyota invested USD 500 Mn in Uber, the ride-hailing firm was valued at USD 72 Bn, which was a substantial leap from its previous USD 62 Bn value. The margin between the two companies based on their worth is wide. But if we know anything about the electric automobile market, it is that is promises multiplicities of billions. According to Villig -who believes that being a late entrant is an opportunity to be better than an earlier competitor who aggressively cinches advantage – the next round is going to come at a higher price tag, having been already given a USD 1 Bn head start.
Speed And Electricity
2/2) Because of this, we are rebranding to take on a new name, one which encompasses our future.
Our new name Bolt, stands for fast, effortless movement- exactly what you deserve.#TaxifyGoesBolt pic.twitter.com/gZbSf141k6— Bolt Nigeria (Taxify) (@Boltapp_ng) March 7, 2019
The moniker “Bolt” has been used to depict “speed and electricity,” Villig says. The company which now operates in 30 countries across Europe, Africa, and other regions, is “Bullish that the future is fully electric.” While using the name Bolt (Taxify) to avoid confusion for the meantime, the company looks to fully incorporate the rebranding in no time.
It is lucid that the inclusion of “taxi” in its former name underscored how the startup looks to expand its remit to accommodate more than its previous car-based offers. Bolt looks to add more scooters, other individual transport means and – very soon – public transport links, in resemblance to CityMapper’s multimodal approach. “Taxify” now appears to be a rather too restrictive name for the company based on its modified vision to smash fences and build new bridges in the e-hailing market.
Bolt, who strongly holds the second spot in Europe due to its rides and services, launched five years ago to make urban transportation and more convenient and affordable. However, the company has evolved in leaps and bounds since its inception to now serve 25 million customers from different parts of the world, making it a leader in Europe and Africa. The name Bolt, if truly meant to depict fast and electrified movement, is a perfect match for not just its expansion move, but for how fast it has grown in just half a decade.