Bolt’s One-Click Checkout Company Announces Departure of CEO Maju Kuruvilla

Maju Kuruvilla is no longer CEO of one-click checkout company Bolt. Kuruvilla didn’t have much to say about the change but did confirm it both on LinkedIn and X, by posting, simply “One-Click Checkedout from @bolt! Kuruvilla, the former Amazon executive, took over as CEO in January 2022 after founder Ryan Breslow stepped down. That is when Bolt was seeking a $355 million Series E round that valued the company at $11 billion. More recently, Bolt signed a deal with Checkout in which Bolt became Checkout.com’s “exclusive one-click checkout provider” and Checkout.com becoming “Bolt’s preferred payment partner.”Want more fintech news in your inbox?

After serving as CEO of one-click checkout company Bolt for a brief time, Maju Kuruvilla has stepped down from his role. In his place, Justin Grooms, Bolt’s global head of sales, has taken over as interim CEO, according to Grooms’ LinkedIn profile.

Kuruvilla confirmed his departure from Bolt on both LinkedIn and X, simply posting “One-Click Checkedout from @bolt! Onwards” with a rocket emoji. When asked for comment, he declined to provide further details. However, Arjun Sethi, a co-founder of the venture firm Tribe Capital, commented on his post, praising Kuruvilla for his work as an executive.

The decision to remove Kuruvilla as CEO was made by the Bolt board this past weekend, as reported by The Information.

Kuruvilla, a former executive at Amazon, assumed the role of CEO in January 2022 after founder Ryan Breslow stepped down.

Grooms has been with Bolt for five years, previously holding executive positions at companies such as Ultraleap (formerly Leap Motion), Datron World Communications, and Qualcomm, according to his LinkedIn profile. In a statement to The Information, Bolt stated that the CEO role has been redefined and that Kuruvilla’s departure was amicable, although no further details were provided.

Bolt has faced its fair share of controversy in the past. The company’s founder, Breslow, started the company after dropping out of Stanford at the age of 27 and was known for his outspoken and often controversial rants.

In an interview with TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos the month he stepped down, Breslow shared that Bolt had signed 10 major deals in the second half of 2021, each being larger than any previous deals in the company’s history.

However, Bolt faced challenges and struggles along the way. The company was under investigation by the federal government in regards to possible violations of securities laws during its fundraising efforts in 2021. During this time, Bolt was seeking a $355 million Series E round, which valued the company at $11 billion. In total, Bolt raised around $1 billion in venture-backed funding.

The company also went through multiple rounds of layoffs, including one in May 2022 where at least 185 employees, or one-third of its workforce, were let go. This was followed by additional layoffs in early 2023 and December 2023 that ultimately affected 29% of its staff.

In October, Kuruvilla, then CEO, shared with TechCrunch that the SEC was no longer investigating Bolt. He also mentioned that the company was working towards profitability and had plans to introduce new features, such as improving merchandise returns and offering personalized experiences through its universal shopper network. Bolt also announced partnerships with various retailers, including Saks OFF 5TH, Shinola, Filson, Lafayette 148, and Toys “R” Us.

Most recently, Bolt signed an exclusive deal with Checkout.com, where Bolt became Checkout’s preferred one-click checkout provider. In turn, Checkout became Bolt’s preferred payment partner.

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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