Uber rival Bolt returns to London 21 months after a TfL investigation shut it down

Jun 12, 2019 · techcrunch.com

Bolt app

Bolt, the Uber rival formerly known as Taxify, is taking a significant step this week in its effort to build out its transportation-on-demand business across the biggest cities in Europe and Africa, which currently covers 25 million users in 30 countries and 100 cities: it’s finally opening for business again in London, the biggest ride-hailing market in Europe.

"Finally" and "again" are the operative words here: the Tallinn-based company had launched in London as far back as September 2017 — nearly two years ago — only to shut down its services after three days, when Transport for London, the city’s transportation regulator, started to investigate the terms of its license.

It turned out that not all was right in the state of Estonia. To roll out its services more quickly, Taxify (as it was then known) had acquired a London firm with a license valid until 2019 and had launched its own service using that loophole. At a time when TfL was decidedly unhappy with Uber and was already fielding complaints from politicians, a drivers’ association and union reps over Taxify’s launch, the writing was on the wall and Taxify shut down its service.

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