Uber Technologies Inc. rival Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, has relaunched in London — nearly two years after its operating license was revoked by the city’s transit authority.
The Estonian company, backed by Daimler AG and most recently valued at $1 billion, said it would compete in the UK capital by offering lower fares for riders, and by taking a smaller cut of driver earnings compared to its rivals.
The re-entry of Bolt marks another ride-hailing app in London’s crowded market. French private-hire limousine operator Chauffeur Prive — now called Kapten — recently launched in the city. Rival Wheely has also relocated its headquarters from Moscow to London.
Bolt Chief Executive Officer Markus Villig said about 20,000 drivers had signed up to work with the company in London so far. All candidates must pass background checks in person at Bolt’s office prior to being permitted to offer rides, he said.
“It’ll take a few months to get everyone through the onboarding process but currently hundreds of drivers are joining per day,” Villig said in an interview ahead of the launch.
Bolt is one of Uber’s biggest competitors in Eastern Europe and Africa, and in March this year said it was preparing to
expand into the food-delivery market and utilise its existing network of drivers to do so. Villig said the startup will focus on ride-sharing only in London