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Bolt becomes decacorn with $335 million funding round

Bolt becomes decacorn with $335 million funding round

Online checkout company, Bolt, has just raised $335 million in a series E funding round – bringing the firm’s total valuation to $11 billion, says TechCrunch.

The cash injection will support the launch of a raft of new products to help shoppers shop more efficiently in 2022. It will also be invested into social commerce, where Bolt’s founder and CEO, Ryan Breslow, believes native embedded commerce will help put Bolt’s checkout capabilities “everywhere”.

The raise comes just three months after Bolt’s series D funding round, which took in $393 million. Including the Series E, Bolt’s total funding to date falls just shy of $1 billion. However, since the firm operates in a space where competitors - such as like Stripe, Shopify and Checkout.com - are worth hundreds of billions of dollars, these large raises are par for the course.

“It may seem like a lot of money raised, but actually no, this is capital for us to be competitive,” said Breslow. “We don’t just want to be on par with competitors but be better. The capital will enable us to bring in the best talent, make strategic acquisitions and expand into Europe, which is important to us.”

Leading Bolt’s series E investment round was BlackRock. Existing investors Activant Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures were joined by the likes of Schonfeld, Invus Opportunities, CreditEase and H.I.G. Growth.

Ben Tsai, partner, Invus Opportunities, said in an interview with TechCrunch that the e-commerce landscape provides “a huge opportunity to improve the online checkout experience, and retailers are realising that they are losing customers as a result. Bolt has a growing network of millions of shoppers who benefit from the ease of one-click checkout across Bolt’s expanding network of retailers. We’re pleased to support the ambitious Bolt team and see tremendous opportunity in the space that Bolt is disrupting.”

Thus far, Bolt’s expansion has been strong. In the last 12 months, the firm grew its gross merchandise value per merchant by 80% and saw accounts increase by 180% in 2020 - while transactions grew 200% year over year. In the next 18 months, Breslow predicts that 100 million shoppers will join Bolt’s network.

Looking ahead, Breslow’s goal is to hit the “Amazon gold standard” buying experience, which means one-click checkouts, seamless order tracking, fast returns, fast shipping, and a clutch of membership benefits: “We have one goal, and that is to build the greatest company ever.”

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