Taxi App Bolt Secures KES 5.6 Billion Investment for R&D with Focus on Safety Features

Bolt Team from left; Sarah Wanyanga Regional Marketing Manager East Africa, Leslie Ossete Regional Operations Manager Bodas East Africa, Ola Akinnusi Country Manager Kenya and Micah Kenneth Regional Manager East Africa

BoltThe e-taxi market in Kenya, mainly in Nairobi, has many players that offer mostly the same services but with varying perks. The popularity of the apps continues to grow, and has seen new players that are going for the masses with e-bus solutions.

Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, has been trying to make a name for itself. It offers cheaper base fares than the competition, and is planning to integrate more features into its offerings after securing a EUR 50 million investment from The European Investment Bank (EIB).

The funds will mainly be used to support research and development strategies. Bolt is also looking forward to improving safety (it is one of the first companies to deploy an SOS button in their app), reliability and sustainability as it strives to maintain the efficiency of its operations, including personalized mobility services such as food delivery.

While no new developments have been given in terms of what the company will bring from its R&D team, Bolt maintains it is focused on creating safe services that will enhance urban trips and offer opportunities in the markets it serves.

Speaking of food or parcel deliveries, the space has sparked interest from many companies that are taking advantage of the booming logistics market. Many other ride-hailing apps have since launched similar services, as well as motorbike rides.

Others such as Uber are exploring many other businesses, including a financial facility named Uber Money. Locally, Little Cab launched and Little Shuttle (amid regulatory issues from NTSA) to compete with the likes of SWVL.

“Mobility is one of the areas we will continue to grow and innovate for the benefit of our customers. We will invest in improving and expanding our ride-hailing technology as well as personalized mobility services like food delivery.  We are thrilled to have the European Investment Bank join the ranks of our backers as this enables us to move faster towards serving many more people in Europe and across the world,” said Martin Villig, Bolt’s co-founder.