The European Investment Bank, or EIB, has invested in Bolt through a venture loan, which is used as an alternative to taking equity in a start-up to avoid diluting existing shareholders’ ownership.
Tallinn, Estonia-based Bolt is one of several firms looking to chip away at Uber’s dominance in the ride-hailing space. Founded in 2013, the firm was initially called Taxify but since changed its branding to offer more services like scooter sharing and food delivery. It currently has 30 million users in 150 cities across Europe and Africa.
The strategic financing from the EIB will help Bolt ramp up spending on research and development to make its services safer and more sustainable while also maintaining operational efficiency, Bolt and the EIB said in a joint statement Thursday.
That also means investing in Bolt’s main line of business, ride hailing, as well as food delivery, which it added to its platform last year. Both services are key to the company’s bid to take on Uber, its Silicon Valley competitor.