Following speculation over which Russian city it would expand to first, Tallinn-based ride-hailing platform Bolt, formerly Taxify, launched its service in St. Petersburg on Thursday.
Jevgeni Beloussov, general manager and head of Central and Eastern Europe at Bolt, said that by introducing competition, ride-hailing services will become more reliable and affordable.
"We aim to create more choices and offer better conditions for both passengers and drivers, and, in doing so, improve the overall quality of the service for everyone," Mr Beloussov said in a press release. "We look forward to cooperating with Russian cities to solve local problems in transport, and I believe that we can offer the same quality on the Russian market as we are offering in over 60 cities all over Europe."
St. Petersburg is the fourth largest city in Europe, following Istanbul, Moscow and London, and in 2018, the city was visited by some eight million tourists. Thus far, the Russian market has been dominated by Yandex Taxi, which merged with Uber in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia in early 2018.
Last week, Bolt announced the launch of operations in Stockholm. It also launched an electric scooter rental service in Madrid this month, and recently announced plans to roll out a food delivery service, beginning in Estonia, Finland and South Africa.
Bolt has 25 million users in 30 countries, and employs a workforce of 850 people, more than 250 of whom work at its head office in Tallinn.
Editor: Aili Vahtla