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Bolt, a Checkout Startup Worth $11 Billion, Lost Customers as Revenue Stalled

By  |  April 28, 2022 4:38 PM PDT

Bolt, which develops software that online stores use to help shoppers pay with one click, started the year riding high after rapid-fire fundraising and a private valuation that skyrocketed to $11 billion in January from $6 billion in October. It also easily outlasted Fast, a rival that had raised $120 million from backers including payments giant Stripe but imploded earlier this month.

Behind the scenes, though, Bolt’s revenue growth fell dramatically, and questions have arisen about the veracity of its past statements about merchants that were using its services. Revenue from transactions Bolt processed grew around 10% to $28 million last year after it slashed the fees merchants pay for its services, according to an internal document viewed by The Information. The dramatic slowdown shows Bolt is under significant competitive pressure from PayPal and Shopify, which have launched their own one-click checkout buttons for merchants. And while Bolt has touted efforts to work with more high-profile retailers, the number of merchants it works with has been hovering in the low 300s since 2020 and declined in the beginning of this year, the document showed.

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