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Taxify has changed its name to Bolt as it eyes the electric scooter market

Phillip de Wet , Business Insider SA
 Mar 07, 2019, 10:26 AM

Taxify is now called Bolt
  • Uber challenger Taxify has changed its name to Bolt, and the change is rolling out across its apps and website.
  • To avoid some of the inevitable confusion, it is describing itself as "Bolt (Taxify)" for the time being.
  • The company says it wants to be known for more than just cars, and believes the future is electric, as it rolls out scooter rental services around the world.

Challenger e-hailing company Taxify – the cheaper Uber rival that has aggressively rolled out service to South Africa's second-tier cities – is now called Bolt.

The Estonian company announced the change on Thursday, and quickly updated its apps and their various listings in app stores to, for the time being "Bolt (Taxify)".

Bolt/Taxify is reportedly looking for more funding, after it raised the equivalent of R2.2 billion (and hit a $1 billion valuation) in May 2018 from an investor group led by Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz.

See also: Uber, Taxify won't charge you more - despite the petrol price hike

The company said it had "started to outgrow" its brand and wanted to highlight that it is not all about cars – and that it believes the future of transportation is electric.

"Bolt" was a sub-brand of Taxify launched in Paris six months ago to offer short-term electric scooter rentals. Much like Uber offers Uber Black and Uber Van as services within its app, Bolt was available alongside traditional car e-hailing in the Taxify app.

Ride-hailing companies – and focussed competitors – believe such scooter rentals are the inevitable victor for short-hop trips within major cities.

In September Bolt/Taxify announced it would roll out the Bolt electric scooter service to Australia.

In San Francisco, the city has come to view a glut of electric scooters littering sidewalks worthy of regulation.

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