What you need to know
- Uber-alternative, Bolt has just debuted on Huawei's AppGallery this week.
- The app is a popular ridesharing service in Europe, dubbed the "European Uber."
- Bolt serves over 35 countries globally with 30 million riders.
Huawei doesn't have access to the Google Play Store as a result of its continually escalating conflict with the United States, but that hasn't stopped the firm from trying to build its own replacement with blackjack and just-as-good equivalents. To get over the loss of Uber, Huawei has made a deal with the ridesharing service and the "European Uber", Bolt. The app now appears in the App Gallery, allowing users of Huawei's newest phones to have an Uber-like experience without having Uber itself. In March's FT 1000, Bolt was identified as the 3rd fastest growing technology company in Europe by the Financial Times. It's also just launched Bolt Food to compete with Uber in the food delivery arena. It's not yet clear if Bolt Food would come to App Gallery as well, but that seems to a natural next move.
The timing for the app's arrival is fortuitous as more and more European countries end their lockdown, meaning that there will be more travel but less trust in public transport. Bolt was launched in 2013 (as Taxify) and now sees itself with over a million drivers in over 35 countries.
Competition between Bolt and Uber has heated up in Europe. Uber has found itself falling out of favor with local governments. With regulators in London refusing to renew its taxi license, alongside a series of court defeats from the ECJ in years past, Uber has been on the back foot in Europe. Bolt has, on the other hand, managed to secure a loan from the EU's European Investment Bank earlier this year.
"Bolt is a good example of European excellence in tech and innovation. As you say, to stand still is to go backwards, and Bolt is never standing still," Vice President Alexander Stubb said at the time (via TechCrunch.)