European Uber rival Bolt launches electrical bikes in Paris
An electrical bike from Estonian ride-hailing agency Bolt in Paris, France.
Trip-hailing app Bolt has launched an electrical bicycle-sharing scheme in Paris, increasing its transport choices whilst Uber pares again its personal bike and scooter ambitions.
The Estonian start-up mentioned the bikes can be out there on its platform from Wednesday. Customers might want to swap from taxi-hailing to bikes throughout the app, and may then unlock one by scanning a QR code.
It marks a major funding from Bolt into so-called “micromobility” companies, which have been exhausting hit after the coronavirus pandemic worn out demand within the still-nascent business. Bolt is betting such choices will assist it get better from the disaster after its gross sales plunged 75% in March.
“Our new e-bikes sharing service may even assist to fulfil the demand for gentle, inexperienced particular person modes of transport, which has seen development on account of European cities steadily popping out of COVID-19 lockdown,” mentioned Dmitri Pivovarov, Bolt’s director of micromobility. “We consider that micromobility needs to be accessible and reasonably priced, particularly at instances like these.”
The corporate has been increasing into new product segments following a rebrand in 2019 from Taxify to Bolt. The agency launched its first e-scooters in Paris again in 2018, after which rolled out a meals supply service in its residence metropolis of Tallinn in August final 12 months.
Bolt has chosen the French capital for the maiden launch of its e-bikes however mentioned it has plans to launch bikes in additional European capitals later this 12 months. It at present gives scooter leases in 21 cities throughout Europe.
The corporate’s growth into this space comes after Uber scrapped hundreds of electrical bikes and scooters following the sale of its Leap division to Lime in Might. The corporate had beforehand mentioned it needed to “double down” on two-wheel automobiles in 2020 — however that was earlier than the Covid-19 outbreak hit.
Bolt, whose buyers embody German automaker Daimler and Chinese language ride-hailing large Didi, was not too long ago valued at 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion). The corporate claims it hasn’t needed to make any layoffs to chop prices through the coronavirus disaster — not like its Silicon Valley counterparts — nonetheless it did admit to slashing salaries by 20-30% in April and Might.