Uber rival Bolt relaunches in London after 2-year exile


LONDON • Uber Technologies Inc rival Bolt, formerly known as Taxi fy, has relaunched in London — nearly two years after its operating licence was revoked by the city’s transit authority.

The Estonian company, backed by Daimler AG and most recently valued at US$1 billion (RM4.16 billion), said yesterday 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 CEO 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.

Bolt is one of Uber’s biggest compet itors in Eastern Europe and Africa.

It said in March this year it’s preparing to expand into the food-delivery market and utilise its existing network of drivers to do so.

The company held more than a year of negotiations with Transport for London to re-obtain its operating licence after being suspended in September 2017, a week after starting, following questions about how it acquired its first permit. — Bloomberg


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