Mr Nada launched Bolt with consultant Michael Johnson in 2017. The pair claim electric bikes are superior to scooters because they can park anywhere (including on footpaths) and are not affected by no stopping zones and loading zones which “means faster deliveries”.
The pair also point to the lower upfront cost of e-bikes, with no registration or insurance costs, no petrol, no tolls, no need for a driver’s licence and the ability to use bike lanes to get around.
The bikes have a maximum speed of 28km/h and start from $79 a week to rent.
“We started with our own savings,” Nada says. “When the banks refused to give us loans because we were too high risk, we turned to friends for a loan and then to venture capital.”
The pair secured $4 million in seed funding, led by venture capital firm Maniv Mobility, and the Sydney-based startup is launching in Australia in partnership with Deliveroo and in San Francisco with Postmates. It also has plans to expand to London.
“Being in the food delivery industry since its inception, we saw that light electric vehicles were the real future of last-mile logistics, yet no one was offering the right vehicle, financing or maintenance solution,” Mr Nada said.
Maniv Mobility principal Prescott Watson says Bolt is doing more than offering a cheaper option for couriers.
“Bolt is solving our cities’ growing congestion and traffic safety problems by moving deliveries from cars and vans onto clean, space-efficient light electric vehicles,” he said.