According to Bolt’s CEO Markus Villig, the Estonian ride-hailing and food delivery firm intends to become profitable in the following year and be prepared for an IPO in 2025.
When the firm, an Uber competitor, raised 628 million euros from investors in January of last year, it was valued at almost $8 billion.
“We expect to be the first European mobility platform that will be fully profitable over the next 12 months,” said Villig, who doesn’t have a driving license.
Uber anticipates operating income profitability this year as well.
Bolt, managed by 29-year-old Villig, will prepare for an IPO rather than seek outside funds through another funding round.
“We are planning to be ready to go public in 2025,” he said, adding that a final decision will depend on market conditions at that time.
The firm, which also provides food delivery, car-sharing, and electric scooter rentals, focuses on Africa, where 50 million of its 150 million clients come from.
“Out of all the African countries, we’ve so far only launched in seven… over the next 10 years Africa remains a massive opportunity for us,” Villig said.
In Africa, where a large percentage of the population is more likely to have a mobile phone than a bank account, Bolt is also assessing if it could change the way payments are made there.
“Maybe we should go into that one day,” he said.
The company hasn’t made its revenue publicly available, but according to Villig, it transacts on the platform on an annual basis in the low billions of dollars.
It also anticipates that in two to three years, its grocery division would reach break-even point or earn a profit.
As some nations crack down on the gig economy, businesses like Bolt, Just Eat Takeaway.com, and Uber Eats are raising their delivery prices to offset the costs of rising wages. Grocery delivery is a fiercely competitive market.
The COVID-19 pandemic helped several industries, including the food delivery industry, but the influence has worn off as consumers have reduced discretionary spending in response to rising costs.
Bolt’s main line of business is ride-hailing. It levies a fee of 20% to 23% of the fare, though that percentage can drop to 10% if drivers opt for incentives like putting a Bolt sticker on their cars.
“Our philosophy is not always to be the cheapest rider … the mistake that some platforms make is that if you only focus on the lowest prices, you can end up with very bad availability of cars because drivers will not be happy,” Villig said.
(Adapted from Investing.com)