Sunday , May 22 2022

Bolt’s wisest move was buying Bolt.com when it did

Payments company acquired bolt.com early in its life.

Logo for bolt has a blue lightning bolt and the word bolt in black letters

According to statistics gathered by Statista, almost 80% of all online shopping orders in selected industries were abandoned in March 2021, a staggeringly high figure.

While some shopping cart abandonment can be attributed to wishful thinking, or just checking how expensive an order might be, there are failings in the traditional checkout process that lead to high abandonment rates. Forcing shoppers to create an account, for example, leads to a 23% cart abandonment rate.

Dozens of companies have been created with the sole goal of reducing the cart abandonment rate through a slicker checkout process.

One such company is Bolt, which boasts “one-click checkout” capabilities.

Founded in 2014 in San Francisco, Bolt offers checkout solutions to combat abandonment. Brands such as the jewelry chain Forever 21 have become part of the Bolt Network. A key component of Bolt’s USP allows consumers to shop at any brand in the network without adding shipping or payment information repeatedly.

Bolt claims that one-third of all US shoppers will be included in the Bolt Network by the end of next year.

The company’s expansion has been fueled by its vast funding efforts. On January 14th, 2022, Bolt announced that it successfully raised $355 million in Series E funding at an $11 billion valuation, bringing its total funding raised to $963.1 million.

Smartly, this eight-year-old company secured the Bolt.com domain name very early on in its life.

DomainIQ’s Whois history suggests that Bolt may have acquired Bolt.com around September 2014, during its first year of operation, as the domain moved to a privacy-protected GoDaddy account. Around the same time, Bolt.com began displaying a website for Bolt.

For Bolt, landing the impeccable Bolt.com was a wise move. As a company that wants to handle the vital checkout process for multi-billion dollar brands, Bolt needed to immediately convey trust, brand longevity, and legitimacy. Something difficult for a young, digital-only company to achieve without an asset like Bolt.com.

Now that Bolt has established itself as a multi-billion dollar company, Bolt.com takes on a different role as the keystone of a network serving hundreds of clients and millions of consumers.

Since Bolt is such a generic and versatile brand name, it’s no surprise to see a wide array of companies branding around the Bolt name. I was surprised, however, to see Bolt, an Uber competitor, which has raised $2 billion, including a recent €628M Series F round. This Bolt was founded in 2013 and raised over $1 million in seed funding before the end of 2014. Bolt.com eluded this brand, though, and despite operating in more than 300 cities across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, Bolt uses Bolt.eu, the ccTLD for the European Union.

Possibly the next best domain, considering that Bolt.com is unlikely to be available to acquire ever again.

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About James Iles

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