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Bolt to invest $530M in Africa

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Ride-sharing platform Bolt has announced its plans to invest 500 million (US$530 million) in its operations on the African continent over the next two years.

The funds will be used to expand Bolt services in Africa and create opportunities for over 300,000 new drivers and couriers to join the platform in 2023, the company said in a statement.

The e-hailing platform was launched in South Africa in 2016, and now operates ride-hailing and delivery services in six further countries – Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Tunisia.

"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," said Bolt CEO and founder Markus Villig.

"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," Villig continued.

Kenyan cash injection

Bolt has also announced that it will invest 13.4 billion Kenyan shillings (US$106 million) in its Kenyan arm to expand its services beyond the 16 towns it operates.

The company added that the investment in Kenya is set to intensify the mounting competition in the industry, which has seen operators expand their geographical reach across the country while adding new transport services under their platforms.

Bolt plans to invest $530 million in Africa to expand services and create opportunities for over 300,000 new drivers and couriers.  (Source: Freepik)
Bolt plans to invest $530 million in Africa to expand services and create opportunities for over 300,000 new drivers and couriers.
(Source: Freepik)

"Bolt shall double down on increasing its footprint across Kenya by expanding its services into more cities and town centers. This will provide access to affordable and quality services to customers whilst providing earning opportunities for drivers in Kenya," Bolt Kenya Country Manager Linda Ndung'u told Business Daily.

Bolt's regional manager for East and Southern Africa, Takura Malaba, explained that while many companies are scaling back investments because of the macroeconomic environment, the company recognizes the transformational effect it 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 providing millions of customers with a safe, reliable and affordable way of moving around their city," Malaba added.

Bolt is not the only company in this sector to expansion plans: Uber sub-Saharan Africa announced in September 2022 that it is expanding into eight more cities across Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Top image source: Bolt Press Kit. .

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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