Ride-hailing company Taxify has made a key shift in its business as it gears up for its next stage of growth. The company is removing “taxi” from its name and rebranding as Bolt. This results from its plan to add its new electric scooter service to its transportation options.
The company, which has over 25 million users in 30 countries across Europe, Africa and other territories, kicked off in Nigeria in November 2016.
This shift in name and vision comes as the company is in talks for another round of funding. CEO and co-founder of Taxify, Markus Villig, who founded the company as a 19-year-old high school student back in 2013, confirmed this in an interview in London this week.
According to him, the next big growth round will come in at a higher price tag of $1 billion post-money valuations.
According to Villig, Bolt, as the new name implies, signifies speed as well as electricity. Removing the “taxi” in the name also means that they intend to widen their remittance to cover more than just car-based rides. The plan is to add more scooters, other individual transport modes and, hopefully soon, public transport links.
Taxify is yet to launch its full service in the UK because it is yet to get a full operating license in the country. It is, however, quietly and patiently working to get approval to operate there.
Villig also explained that he thinks self-driving cars are completely overhyped. He expressed that, though he had no plans to explore owning his won self-driving technology, he will rather partner with companies already working on it.
He added that Bolt is doing more than $1 billion (gross) in annual rides, which is more than five times the funds already raised. He also brags that no other car-hailing company comes close to it.
To put to rest the rumours that the company has been sold, Villig acknowledged there have been multiple acquisition proposals recently, but nothing that he would want to entertain seriously for now.