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Bolt Receives €628 Million Funding, As Its Valuation Inclines

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Bolt Receives €628 Million Funding, As Its Valuation Inclines

Top transport system platform in Africa, Bolt, has received its largest-ever funding to help increase its existing products, from owned cars to shared mobility in cities.

With a €628 million investment, the valuation of the company inclines to €7.4 billion. The fund was headed by Sequoia Capital and Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC with participation from Whale Rock, Owl Rock (a division of Blue Owl), D1, G Squared, Tekne, Ghisallo, and others.

According to the founder of Bolt, Markus Villig, he stated that for decades, cities have been built for cars, not people, which led to unsustainable traffic, pollution, and loss of public space to parking places. We think this approach is outdated.

READ ALSO: MTN Nigeria Risks Losing Millions Of Users, Here’s Why

“Over the past eight years, we have developed products that offer better and more affordable alternatives for almost every purpose a private car serves.

“We’re partnering with cities to help people make the switch towards light vehicles such as scooters and e-bikes and shared mobility options like ride-hailing and car-sharing to transform urban areas back into sustainable, people-friendly spaces.

“That’s why we’re pleased to announce this new round of funding – the biggest in our history – which will help us build a future in which cities have less congestion, less pollution, and more green spaces where people can easily move around in a safe and sustainable way.”

Femi Akin-Laguda, Country Manager, Bolt Nigeria also added, “Bolt is redefining urban mobility by helping people move seamlessly and helping the environment and the cities grow sustainably.

“We plan to continue expanding our services in Nigeria and offer a better alternative to move around cities and towns and receive their food. Bolt is an innovative company and with the investment, the mission is to ease mobility for every Nigerian.”

Last month, Bolt announced a range of new safety features to be incorporated on its scooter-sharing network, the largest in Europe, demonstrating how the company is a reliable partner for cities.

These features include a tandem riding prevention system, which can detect more than one person riding a scooter at the same time, a cognitive reaction test to ensure riders stay as safe as possible, and a skid prevention system meaning scooters are only used in a safe and responsible manner.

Scooter-sharing is just one part of Bolt’s suite of mobility and delivery products, which are currently used by more than 100 million customers in 45 countries and over 400 cities across Europe and Africa.

Other products also include its ride-hailing service; car-sharing service Bolt Drive; Bolt Food, which enables customers to order meals from restaurants; and Bolt Market, a 15-minute grocery delivery service.

In August 2021, Bolt raised €600 million in a funding round backed by Sequoia Capital and other investors to boost its new 15-minute grocery delivery service and to accelerate the expansion of its existing mobility and delivery products.

With this new investment Bolt will accelerate its expansion rapidly in 2022 and plans to have hundreds of stores operational by the end of the year.

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Illegal Oil Refinery Operators Arrested In Lagos

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Illegal Oil Refinery Operators Arrested In Lagos

No less than five illegal oil refinery operators in Oregun, Ikeja area of Lagos State, have been arrested.

The arrest was as men of the Nigerian Army uncovered an illegal oil bunkering depot, where siphoned crude oil was refined and transported to different filling stations within the Southwest region of the country.

During a raid on the refinery site, amongst other things, soldiers recovered refined crude oil valued at N300 million.

Briefing journalists on the arrest, the Operation Officer, 9 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ikeja Cantonment, Major Tarela Emuren said the arrest and recovery were made by troops of Operation AWATSE.

According to Emuren, the soldiers arrested the illegal oil refinery operators on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, after an eight-hour raid operation at the Oregun illegal refinery site.

His words: “The scale of economic sabotages orchestrated by this unscrupulous act is estimated to be worth about N300 million. Regrettably, these activities have been ongoing for quite some time without the knowledge of relevant government agencies.

The five Ford vans have been specially modified, without due recourse to safety, to accommodate locally fabricated tanks for storage of stolen petroleum products. Additionally, four tankers were also recovered at the illegal depot laden with suspected stolen products as well as several drums, hoses, and other equipment used by these economic saboteurs.

Besides the economic loss occasioned by the activities of these criminals, the safety concern is also worrisome. The location constitutes serious dangers to other law-abiding residents within the community while their activities result in environmental degradation, pollution and heighten the risk of fire outbreak. Also, the crude modification of vehicles used in conveying these highly inflammable products constitutes even greater dangers to other unsuspecting road users in Lagos and other places the products may be transported to.

The Army operation officer, therefore, warned illegal oil refiners in the state to desist forthwith, saying that Op AWATSE would not rest on its oars till they were brought to book.

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Things To Look Out For When Buying Used Cars In Nigeria

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Things To Look Out For When Buying Used Cars In Nigeria
Image used for illustrative purpose

A large percentage of people would rather settle for used cars compared to brand new ones. For many reasons, which include prices, this has been the situation for most people in the country. According to Suomobroto Ganguly, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cars45, used cars in Nigeria constitute 95% of the country’s auto market.

With this, Newsrand understands that nine out of 10 Nigerians are driving used cars; it is in this light that this publication presents below the basic things to look out for before considering an automobile purchase…

Review your budget: This is a very vital part to consider when buying a fairly used car. It is important for you to define a budget and stick with it. Sometimes after paying for the car, additional expenses might arise. For example, you might need to rewrap the interior or change the tyre as well as do some mechanical/electrical maintenance, all these will mean extra spending. You should decide how much you are willing to spend on the car.

Compare prices: Having an idea of what the price of your car choice should be will help your bargaining process. To do this, you can search the internet for your automobile choice, which would enable you to see the prices. It is advisable you do this before initiating a meeting with your car dealer.

Define your car taste and choice: Clearly knowing what you want is an advantage that will help you make smart decisions, and the interesting part of this is that it will make your buying process seamless. In Nigeria, people use more Toyota, Lexus, and Honda for reasons best known to them. So, it is safer to have more than one proposed car brand.

Confirm the mileage: What this means is the total distance a car has travelled since it was manufactured. When buying used cars in Nigeria, the mileage may be a dealbreaker because experts are of the opinion that the average annual mileage of every automobile product should be 12,000.

The mileage is how you will get to know how long the car has been used, how long it has run, which can influence how much it should be sold for.

Be sure of the spare parts’ availability: This is one of the most integral processes of buying used cars in Nigeria. Sometimes, an automobile product might thick all the aforementioned boxes, but when the spare parts are not readily-available, we are sure you don’t even want to be near such a car. So, it is strongly advisable you take out time to research the used cars in Nigeria that you are considering as their spare parts readily available for purchase in the markets. This is because all cars are prone to have issues that should be fixed at one point or the other.

Have a pre-purchase inspection: You need to engage a mechanic and other professionals in the automobile industry, like rewire, to check the functionality of your car choice. Inspecting the car will uncover what is not working well, or not working at all in the car.

It is in the course of this process that you will confirm the engine’s strength, amongst other things.

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PAPSS: Dangote Charges African Leaders On Improved Trade

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PAPSS: Dangote Charges African Leaders On Improved Trade

Business tycoon, Aliko Dangote has charged African leaders at the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) on improved trade relations within the continent.

Disclosing this at the PAPSS formal launching, stated that the trade will help promote African intrinsic greatness.

The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System is a centralized payment and settlement infrastructure platform for intra-African trade and commerce payments.

READ ALSO: APC Governors Want National Convention To Hold In February

The continent’s richest man urged Africans to close ranks to propel the continent towards charting her own course, becoming the master of her destiny, and maintaining her rightful position on the globe.

Dangote, who was represented by Group Managing Director of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Olakunle Alake, lauded the African Union, under the auspices of Afreximbank, for the launch of PAPSS, which he noted was aimed at facilitating payments across the continent.

He asserted that improved trade relations would greatly enhance the speed of recovery across Africa, noting that it has the potential to boost the level of economic activities through intra-Africa trade. He also remarked that the advent of PAPSS would greatly address challenges such as; high-cost, lengthy correspondent banking relationships, delays, among many others, and therefore ease transactions among businesses across Africa.

He equally expressed optimism that PAPSS would enhance the volume of trade among countries, which were hitherto not recorded or were overlooked because of the informal approach towards these transactions. According to him, these were now captured to reflect the corrector, at least, close to the appropriate position of trading activities within the continent, while also boosting the level of economic activities across the continent.

Dangote noted the enormous potential and benefits of PAPSS but nevertheless warned that such projects have teething issues. He, therefore, urged regulators and participants across the continent to look beyond such operational challenges and ensure the successful implementation of PAPSS.

While thanking member countries and organizations that contributed to the success of PAPSS by playing key roles leading to the launch of the project, he invoked the words of Ghana’s first President and Prime Minister, and renown promoter of Pan Africanism, Kwame Nkrumah, stressing: “The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater…”

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