Markus Villig is the founder of Bolt, an Estonian mobility company that offers vehicle for hire, micromobility, car-sharing, and food delivery services.
He developed an interest in technology while growing up in Estonia, and it became more stronger when he was in the university.
The interest in the business forced him to quit his course and focus on the start up.
Here is Markus’ story as told by WoK.
Markus was born and raised in Talinn, the capital of Estonia.
He was passionate about technology while growing up and he was aware of its impact and how it could change people’s lives.
“I have always been passionate about technology. I believe that’s the best place to be if you want to have a positive impact on the world because there are not too many industries where you can be a 19-year old kid from a small country, and influence the lives of millions of people,” he said.
By the time he got to the university, his passion for technology had grown even stronger, forcing him to drop out of school at some point.
Markus quit his course in Computer Science, and formally launched Bolt in 2014.
According to the 27-year-old, he used the first six months to market the startup and test the products in Tallin.
“I was actually going around the streets of Tallinn signing up the taxi drivers one by one, and then building on the app at night
“We officially launched in August 2014 first in Tallinn, Estonia, and then we began to gradually expand to more and more countries,” Markus said.
He established the company when he was 19-years old with a Ksh 670,000 starting capital majorly contributed by his parents and older brother.
“I only managed to go to university for the first six months. I was studying Computer Science. I started Bolt before I went to university and then I dropped out a year in
“The company is actually doing very well. We have raised more than a billion euros so far and again as I mentioned we are one of the largest technological firms in the world today,” Markus said.
In Kenya, Bolt has employment 1,000 people, and over 50,000 others who work as drivers and couriers.
“In Kenya specifically, our office has about 100 people, and it actually serves as our Africa regional HQ. Most of our senior regional managers who run the business for African countries are based here in Nairobi,” he noted.
During his trip to African countries, Kenya and South Africa, Markus noted that he will invest Ksh 66.9 billion for the company’s operations in Africa.
“We will continue to grow our presence in Africa through this new investment which offers massive potential to create new jobs and income opportunities for drivers and couriers,” he said.