By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
Bolt, a mobility company, has received an additional €600 million from global investors in a funding round to boost the expansion of its existing mobility and grocery delivery services.
The ride-hailing platform was able to raise fresh funds from existing investors, including Sequoia Capital, G Squared, D1 Capital and Naya, along with Tekne and Ghisallo as new backers.
The investment, which has increased the company’s valuation to over €4 billion, will accelerate the creation of effective solutions, features and products on the Estonian mobility first-ever super-app.
Speaking on the development, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bolt, Mr Markus Villig, remarked that the company, which took seven years to execute, will continue to create innovative alternatives for on-demand transportation.
“Bolt’s mission is to make urban travel affordable and sustainable. We are building a future where people are not forced to buy cars that cause traffic and pollution but use on-demand transport when they actually need it.
“After seven years of relentless execution, Bolt’s mobility and delivery products offer a better alternative to almost every use case a car serves. I’m thrilled to bring these products to millions of customers around Europe and Africa, taking the emphasis off cars and giving cities back to the people,” Bolt CEO said.
Adding his input, Mr Andrew Reed, a partner at Sequoia Capital, applauded Bolt’s effort in redefining modern transportation as he expressed optimism in partnering with the company.
According to him, “Bolt is redefining urban transportation in much of the world. Markus is a driven founder who has built an operationally excellent business spanning Europe and Africa and a mission-driven culture that forms the foundation of an enduring company. Bolt helps customers, cities, and the environment. We’re delighted to partner with them.”
On his part, the Country Manager of Bolt Nigeria, Mr Femi Akin-Laguda, said that the investment will better help Bolt to come up with possible solutions to satisfy their customers across 25 cities in Nigeria.
In his words, “Bolt will continue building solutions that alleviate everyday mobility challenges with our safe and affordable services while we also remain committed to providing market-leading earnings for our drivers.
“With this investment, we will keep introducing effective solutions, features, and products that are important to all our customers while having a positive socio-economic impact on the economy.”
Lagos Ranks Worst in World’s Traffic Congestion Index
By Adedapo Adesanya
Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, has been rated the worst among cities with traffic congestion in the world.
According to the traffic index released by Numbeo, a crowd-sourced global database of quality-of-life data, Lagos had a traffic index of 348.69 points to lead seven other cities surveyed on the African continent.
Other cities considered in the report were Nairobi, Cairo, Pretoria, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban all in South Africa.
Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, was second with a traffic index of 256.39 points and Cairo recorded 244.23 points.
In South Africa, Pretoria had a traffic index of 230.51 points while Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban had 211.92 points, 201.29 points, and 121.29 points respectively.
Numbeo explains that the traffic index is a composite index of time consumed in traffic due to job commute, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction, carbon dioxide (Co2) consumption estimation in traffic, and overall inefficiencies in the traffic system.
It added that traffic subjects commuters to the mistakes of other drivers on the road.
“Due to the anxiety that characterises most traffic jams, some motorists display aggressive behaviour towards others. And things could escalate quickly,” the report added.
Globally, Business Post found that Lagos was the only African city in the top ten countries. In the index, Lagos was followed by Los Angeles, California, USA in second place at 344.84 points while San Jose followed with 331.12 points came in third place.
Colombo, Sri Lanka; Delhi, India; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates occupied the fourth to seventh places with 305.13, 284.33, 283.49, and 283.43 respectively.
In the eighth spot was Kolkota in India with 272.03 points, San Francisco, also in California, USA was the ninth place with 261.64 points, while the top 10 was concluded with Guatemala City, Guatemala coming at 259.56 points.
Crack in Nigeria Auto Journalists Association
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
There seems to be trouble within the ranks of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) as the chairman of the group, Mr Mike Ochonma, and his vice, Mr Tajudeen Adebanjo, are at loggerheads.
According to information gathered by Business Post, the two exchanged hot words a few days ago during one of their meetings in Lagos and efforts made to calm the situation were futile.
It was alleged that Mr Adebanjo wants to cause division within the association and has written letters to stakeholders in the industry in a bid to incriminate his boss.
The situation has forced the chairman of NAJA to move for the suspension of the vice chairman on the ground of gross misconduct.
It was learned that at an extraordinary meeting of the group at the National Stadium, Lagos last Friday, the umbrella body of journalists covering the motoring and auto industry passed a resolution to suspend Mr Adebanjo and then referred him to a disciplinary committee for further disciplinary action which could see him formally removed from office.
Meanwhile, Mr Ochonma has urged the auto stakeholders to remain steadfast with the association, reiterating the fact that it remains unified and would continue to work together as critical partners to the progress of the auto industry.
“As we have been doing over the years, be rest assured that as critical stakeholders of the industry, we would continue to be objective in our reportage as our different accurate and critical analyses of the auto industry’s activities will continue to help the industry to grow,” he said.
Bolt Assures Nigerian Drivers Improved Trip Experience
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Nigerian drivers have been assured of a better experience and safer trips by a leading ride-hailing platform, Bolt.
The company, in a statement, said it has introduced some features that will improve the safety of drivers on the platform.
It said the driver scores and driver trip sharing features further enforce its commitment to drivers’ well-being as they will give them more control over their ride performance.
The driver score feature is a transparent metric that allows drivers to better understand their in-app performance, encourages improvements in drivers’ habits and helps them aim to offer the best possible rider experience. The feature is designed to increase the quality of service, thus being at the core of a positive driver and rider experience.
The driver trip sharing feature which adds an extra layer of safety for drivers allows them to share a link with their real-time journey information. The link can be shared by Email, SMS, or via instant messaging apps and enables any third party with access to the link to track and follow the driver’s ride status and location in real-time.
The link generated with the driver trip sharing feature is valid for the current ride. Drivers must issue a new link for every ride if they feel necessary to do so. Links will remain active for up to 48 hours if a ride is not finished.
Accessing a link after the ride is finished will notify the user that the link is expired. Driver score is calculated for every last 100 trips performed by a driver. By default, a driver starts off with the maximum possible score of 100 “good” trips. This score will be decreased if the app picks up behaviour that is against good practices or harmful to the rider.
“Drivers are core to our business, so we are always innovating to improve their experience on our platform. The new features we have introduced add to our in-app customer experience and are aimed at helping drivers have more control of their Bolt rides and maximise their earnings within a safe environment.
“The driver score and driver trip sharing features are in line with the entrepreneurial desires of the drivers and improve the overall user experience of the Bolt app.
“We believe that drivers want to offer great services to riders. With the driver score feature, drivers can get constant feedback about their performance which will help them improve.
“The driver trip sharing feature on the other hand will act as a deterrent to people with potentially malicious intent against drivers on the Bolt platform. Overall, riders have the best chances of being paired with a driver who is committed to high-quality service,” the Regional Manager for Bolt in West Africa, Ms Ireoluwa Obatoki, said.
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