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Usain Bolt’s startup with Indian company’s investment halts US operations

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Start up mobility Bolt Mobilityco-founded by eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolthas abruptly disappeared from several of its US markets, causing e-bikes and equipment to be abandoned amid unanswered calls, media reported.

Bolt had raised $40.2 million along with an undisclosed investment from the Chennai-based company Ram Charan Company in India in May this year.

According to an TechCrunch report, Bolt Mobility stopped operating in at least five US cities, including Portland, Oregon, Burlington, South Burlington and Winooski in Vermont and Richmond, California.

City representatives said they could not reach anyone at Bolt, including CEO Ignacio Tzoumas, the report said late Sunday.

Portland suspended Bolt’s license to work there last month after the company failed to “provide the city with updated insurance and pay some outstanding fees.”

“All of our contacts at Bolt, including their CEO, have gone radio silent and have not responded to our emails,” said Robert Goulding, public information manager at Burlington’s Department of Public Works.

Bolt was present in more than 50 markets in the US.

Ram Charan Company’s investment in May would be used to drive forward transportation sustainability efforts by introducing advanced solid-state battery technology; energy-efficient, metallic plastics made from recycled waste; and coilless electric motors to small and personal vehicles.

“Our partnership with Bolt Mobility, a brand with high standards of performance and sustainability, is an important step forward for Ram Charan and its group companies,” said Kaushik Palicha, president of Ram Charan, in a statement.

“We will support Bolt’s vision to ensure sustainability throughout their value chain, from the quality of the energy, the quality of the materials and the range of their mobility devices,” Palicha had said.

“I look forward to working with Ram Charan in ushering in Transportation 2.0,” said Bolt CEO Tzoumas. “Together we help create healthier, liveable cities of the future.a”

Bolt’s social media are now silent and have not posted to Instagram or Twitter since June 11.

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