Bolt, a popular global mobility app, has recently announced its plans to invest over $500 million in Africa over the next two years. The investment will be used to expand Bolt services on the continent and to create employment opportunities for over 300,000 new drivers and couriers in 2023.
Since launching in South Africa in 2016, Bolt has grown to operate ride-hailing and delivery services in six additional African countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, and Tunisia. Currently, the platform boasts over 47 million customers and 900,000 drivers across the continent.
Bolt’s corporate travel division, Bolt Business, has also been launched in several African countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, and Kenya. This new service provides local businesses with affordable and secure 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 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.”
Markus’ comments came as he arrived in Africa last week 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, Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Investment and Industry, Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Cabinet Secretary for Transport and the Governor of Nairobi County.
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 provide millions of customers with a safe, reliable and affordable way of moving around their city.”