E-taxi app Bolt will invest €500 million (around KES 67 billion) within the next two years to expand its services in Africa.
The funds will be used to expand Bolt’s offerings in Africa and create employment opportunities for more than 300,000 new drivers and couriers to join the platform by 2023.
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Since its inception in South Africa in 2016, Bolt has extended its ride-hailing and delivery services to six additional countries: Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, and Tunisia, and currently serves more than 47 million customers and 900,000 drivers.
Its network in Kenya is the biggest of e-taxi apps with a presence in more than 15 towns and cities, including Embu, Kakamega, Malindi, and Nanyuki.
Bolt has also announced Bolt Business in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, and Kenya, a corporate travel arm that provides transportation options for local businesses.
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In seven years, Bolt has completed over one billion rides in Africa and expects the number of drivers on its platform to exceed one million within the next six months.
Back in 2021, Bolt unveiled a new offering that empowered female passengers to opt for a female driver for their trips. According to the company, this development had a twofold effect: it boosted safety for both drivers and passengers in South Africa and gave women a chance to pursue additional income streams. After the triumph of the “women-only” group in South Africa, it was extended to Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya.
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Markus Villig, Founder and CEO, said: “Over the past seven years, we have built a strong team of 500 people in Africa and we remain committed to investing in local communities for the long-term. At a time when many countries are facing economic challenges, we will continue to grow our presence in Africa through this new investment which offers massive potential to create new jobs and income opportunities for drivers and couriers.”
Takura Malaba, Regional Manager – East and Southern Africa, said: “While many companies are scaling back investments given the macroeconomic environment, we recognize the transformational effect platforms like Bolt can have in Africa. We operate in markets where unemployment is often high and by continuing to expand our services we will offer people new opportunities to earn a good living by being a driver, as well as provide millions of customers with a safe, reliable, and affordable way of moving around their city.”