Bolt: Is This a Serious Competitor for Uber?
Taking an Uber is already a phrase, like ‘Googling it’, but what about taking a Bolt? Previously known as Taxify, Bolt is a ride hailing startup is looking to make inroads (literally) into the London taxi ride hailing market.
You might have heard the name in conversation, or maybe this is the first you’ve heard of it. But chances are, you’re going to start hearing a lot more about the whole Bolt vs Uber debate in London.
In this article we’ll take a quick look at what Bolt offers, and why it could be a serious competitor for Uber in the UK, and especially London.
What is Bolt?
Originally started in Estonia, back in 2014, Bolt did try and conquer London one time before. Then known as Taxify, the attempt lasted a grand total of three days before TFL decided that because Bolt bought a licensed company, instead of going through the process themselves, they had to start again.
Having followed procedure and rebranded as Bolt, they’re ready to take on Uber in London once again. In the meantime, Bolt has become an established brand in smaller European cities and is very popular in Africa. They could be poised to topple the kings of ride hailing.
Is Bolt better than Uber?
For consumers, Bolt are winning over new custom with rides that are cheaper than Uber in London. And, for drivers, Bolt have a 15% commission fee on your jobs instead of the 20%-25% Uber & Kapten takes from your jobs.
Hang on, how does that work?
Well, the thing with Uber is that they are a silicon valley startup, so even though they can be cheaper than traditional taxis, they have overheads. Uber are also doing things like investing in driverless tech and other cutting edge innovations. Oh and you may have seen the headlines about Uber being one of those huge loss making companies.
Bolt, on the other hand, started life in eastern Europe and only have a few staff in each of their local markets. Their development and support staff are based in countries like Poland and Estonia, so already they have an advantage. So, with less overheads, they can charge less for their customers but also pay their drivers more. It looks like it could be at least one nil in the Bolt vs Uber match.
Why else should I choose Bolt?
Bolt have also been learning from the problems that Uber have experienced and are planning several interesting additions to their app. For example, with some highly publicised issues with Uber drivers behaving badly, Bolt has a planning to have an SOS button in the app. This will obviously tempt solo female taxi hailers.
The company are also planning to launch scooter and moped hailing options, which they have done successfully in other countries.
And how have Bolt been performing against Uber in other markets? Well, in the 30 countries where Bolt have emerged alongside Uber, Bolt have come out top in around half of them.
Perhaps that’s 2-0 in the Bolt vs Uber match?
So is Bolt really better than Uber? There is only one way to find out…