Monday 2 December 2019 4:25 pm

Bolt is best placed app to take Uber's London crown, says report

Bolt is the best-placed ride-hailing app to capitalise from Uber’s failure to secure a new London licence, according to a new study.

Figures from market intelligence company SimilarWeb show that the Estonian app has had the largest amount of Android downloads out of Uber’s competitors in the months leading up to the app’s ban last week.

Read more: Uber rival Ola announces London launch
Read more: TfL bans Uber from London after a ‘pattern of failures’

Bolt has also experienced a surge in Android downloads since Transport for London (TfL) did not renew Uber’s licence on 25 November.

Bolt’s daily downloads nearly doubled that day from 5,778 to 10,894, and have stayed around that mark since.

French ride-hailing app Kapten saw a similar increase in daily downloads, going from 3,274 to 8,901 on 25 November.

A Bolt spokesperson said: “We stand ready to take over as the first-choice provider in London, if it comes to that, and we actively strive to achieve that position, as we have done in many of our European and African markets.”

Uber was not given a new licence by TfL, after a “pattern of failures” regarding passenger safety.

The transport regulator found there were uninsured and unlicensed drivers on the platform who had recently accounted for 14,000 trips.

Its investigation also found that several drivers banned by Uber had simply made new profiles and were continuing to operate on the platform.

It is appealing the decision and can still operate in the meantime.

The app’s competitors made a number of movements last week in an attempt to get out in front in the race to take over from Uber as the capital’s most popular ride-hailing app.

Read more: Uber rival Bolt set to secure $100m in new funding

It was revealed last week that Bolt was on the cusp of securing a more than $100m (£78m) of new funding, cementing its place as a $1bn “unicorn” start-up.

Indian ride-hailing app Ola also announced last week it had begun on-boarding drivers in London and would launch before the end of the year.