Bolt, the leading mobility app in Africa, has announced plans to invest €500 million in its operations on the 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.
Having launched in South Africa in 2016, Bolt now operates ride-hailing and delivery services in six further countries – Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Tunisia – with over 47 million customers and 900,000 drivers on the platform. Bolt Business, Bolt’s corporate travel arm, has also been introduced in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya, offering local businesses safe and affordable ways for their employees to travel.
Bolt has also announced that it has surpassed 1 billion rides in Africa in just seven years and expects the number of drivers on the platform to hit over 1 million in the next six months.
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 into 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.”
Markus’ comments came as he arrived in Africa with Bolt’s global leadership team where they are visiting local Bolt teams in South Africa and Kenya and meeting with senior government stakeholders, including the South African Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, the Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, the Kenyan Prime Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Trade, Investment and Industry and the Governor of Nairobi County.
Speaking after meeting with Bolt, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Nomalungelo Gina said: “I am pleased with the strategic focus that Bolt is making on security features for the riders. I am particularly excited by the commitment to increase the women drivers for women riders category so women have an option to choose a female driver for their trips. The level of abuse against women in South Africa is exponentially high and e-hailing services must be safe spaces for them to use.”
In 2021, Bolt introduced a new service which allowed female riders to choose a female driver for their journey. This new category not only increased safety for both drivers and riders in South Africa, but also provided women with a way to explore new earnings opportunities. Following the success of the ‘women-only’ category in South Africa it was also launched in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya.
Takura Malaba, Regional Manager – East and Southern Africa, said: “While many companies are scaling back investments given the macroeconomic environment, we recognise 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 providing millions of customers with a safe, reliable and affordable way of moving around their city.”