Bolt is Going Beyond Ride Sharing to Launch Food Delivery Service in Africa


Just 3 weeks after rebranding as Bolt, popular ride hailing startup, Taxify (now Bolt) has announced its plans to delve into food delivery service in Africa.

One of the reasons for the initial change in name was because the former identity, Taxify, was too restrictive. Now, under Bolt, the company is looking to expand its services beyond ride sharing – hence the venture into food delivery.

The company is also looking at including motorbikes ride-hailing, as well as scooter sharing.

South Africa will be one of only three countries to first enjoy the service worldwide when launched. The other two countries where the service would be initially offered are in Europe, Estonia and Finland.

“Now we want to bring this approach to food delivery. Combined with our technology, efficient operations and thousands of drivers in South Africa, we plan to build the best food delivery service for the people who already use our services daily.”

Markus Villig, CEO Bolt.

One of the reasons why the company chose South Africa for initial rollout is because it operates in more South African cities than any other competing ride-hailing platform. This gives it an advantage to reach more clients and edge other food delivery services including major competitor, UberEats and Naspers-owned Mr D Food.

Despite this, it will not be an easy feat as both competitors command over a thousand network of restaurants – UberEats, 1200 restaurants and Mr D Food, over 1,400 restaurants (and delivers to over 1,900 suburbs in South Africa).

This is why the Bolt is accepting restaurant sign-ups as well as sign-ups for drivers who would champion the service.

Although it is unclear when the company plans to scale and make the service available to more countries in Africa, the good news is if it has landed in Africa, Nigeria might be one of the next recipients for the service.

The company came to Nigeria in 2016, operates in 5 states in the country and processes over a million ride requests daily.

And should it launch in Nigeria, it would face competition from other food delivery services such as Jumia Foods, Ofadaa and Chicken Republic.

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