Bolt Mobility, the Miami-based micro-mobile startup co-founded by Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, appears to have disappeared without a trace from many US markets.
In some cases the departure was sudden, leaving cities with abandoned devices, unanswered calls and e-mails, and many questions.
Bolt has stopped operating in at least five US cities: Portland, Oregon, Burlington, South Burlington and Winooski, Vermont, and Richmond, California, city officials said. City officials, including CEO Ignacio Zumas, said they were unable to contact Bolt.
TechCrunch made several attempts to reach Bolt and those who support the company. Emails sent to Bolt’s communications department, several employees and investors went unanswered. Even the customer service line doesn’t seem to be staffed. It was a PR agency On behalf of Bolt in March This year he told TechCrunch that he is no longer working with the company.
Bolt ended his service in Portland on July 1. Portland subsequently suspended Bolt’s license to operate after the company failed to provide the city with updated insurance and failed to pay certain unpaid bills, a city spokeswoman said.
The bolt is stronger than the tentacles
Bolt Mobility (not to be confused with the European transport super app Bolt) was in what looked like a growth phase 18 months ago. The organization In January 2021, it acquired the assets of Last Mile HoldingsGotcha and OJO Electric, who owned the Micro Mobile companies. The governor opened 48 new markets for Bolt Mobility, most of which were small cities like Raleigh, North Carolina, St. Augustine, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama.
After purchasing Last Mile’s assets, Bolt agreed to remain a bike share provider in Chittenden County, Vermont, including the cities of Burlington, South Burlington and Winooski.
That permit is even up for renewal in 2022, said Brian Davis, the county’s senior transportation planner.
Davis told TechCrunch in an email that they learned Bolt had quit on July 1st weeks ago, but notified the county a week later. They left the devices missing and emails and calls went unanswered. We couldn’t find anyone, but it looks like they’ve closed shop in other markets as well.
Chittenden Area Transportation Management Association Executive Director Sandy Thibault b Burlington Free Press Bolt announced that employees are being let go and that the company’s board of directors is discussing next steps.
A Burlington spokesman relayed similar information.
“All of our contacts at Bolt, including their CEO, have gone radio silent and have not responded to our emails,” Robert Goulding, public information manager for the Burlington Public Works Department, told TechCrunch.
Davis went on to say that about 100 bikes were left on the ground with completely inoperable and dead batteries. Chittenden County Bolt has given them time to claim or pick up the company’s vehicles or the county will take ownership of them.
According to Richmond Mayor Tom Booth on E-Forum, Bolt appears to have stopped working in Richmond, California.
Unfortunately, it appears that the Bolts went out of business without prior notice or removing their capital equipment from city property. Boot wrote. “They recently missed their monthly town meeting check-in and didn’t respond to customers in all their markets.”
Butt went on to say that the city has developed a plan to remove the abandoned devices — about 250 e-bikes are located at intersections such as BART stations and the ferry terminal — and has asked people to refrain from vandalizing bikes. The city can come up with a solution.
TechCrunch has delivered Bolt to several other cities, and the company has yet to confirm whether it has completely shut down. In fact, a St. Augustine spokesperson told TechCrunch that Bolt’s bike share is running as usual.
Bolt’s social media has also been inactive in recent weeks. The company has not posted on Instagram since June 11 or on Twitter since June 2.
TechCrunch last heard from Bolt nine months ago when the company was sold. An in-app navigation system it calls “MobilityOS”. At the time, the startup promised that its next-generation scooters would include a smartphone mount as a phone charger, but it’s unclear if those scooters will make it to the streets.
Bolt has raised $40.2 million publicly, an amount that does not include N. An undisclosed investment from India’s Ram Charan Company In May. Investors there could not be reached for comment.