In the future, it’ll doubtless be made into a Netflix series or film.
For, it has all the ingredients of a thriller. Bolt Mobility, the micromobility startup co-founded by 8-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt. Bolt Mobility had raised $40.2 million, along with an undisclosed investment from Chennai-based Ram Charan Company in India in May this year. There is very little that is known about this Ram Charan company, except for the fact that the US-based fund TFCC International had announced an investment of $4.14 billion in its last December. The deal valued the Chennai-based chemicals distributor at around $9 billion. But there is hardly any info on the financial and business details of Ram Charan and the reason for the big-bang investment. It all seemed too shady.
Be that as they may be. Now, we have Bolt Mobility vanishing from many of the cities in the US that it was operating in.
Too many questions that need answers
According to multiple media reports, Bolt Mobility, which is into personal transportation with focus on small electric two-wheelers has stopped operating in Portland, Oregon, Burlington, South Burlington and Winooski in Vermont and Richmond, California.
Reports quoting users said when trying to request a scooter through the Bolt app, a message tells users to do so in 30 other countries, such as France, Nigeria or South Africa, but not in the US. Bolt Mobility reportedly had a presence in more than 50 cities/towns across the US.
Meanwhile, at the time of announcement of TFCC’s bewildering investment in Ram Charan Company itself many red-flags were apparent. For instance, TFCC India office has the same address as that of Ram Charan. But nothing much is known about either TFCC or Ram Charan Company, excepted their own much-vaunted claims.
As far as Ram Charan Company and Bolt Mobility goes, as per their agreement, the former (through its group company) is to manufacture and supply chargers and super-chargers to Bolt vehicles, which are primarily small two-wheelers like mopeds and bikes. It was to supply the chargers from September from its Chennai plant. Now what happens to the deal is something that needs to be seen.
Bolt Mobility also launched in the UK. But its scooters aren’t legal to ride in the country.