Ride-Hailing App Bolt Opens African Head Office

Uber’s rival, Bolt, has opened its first African headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The new office will serve as a regional hub for the top managers and staff running operations across the continent.

Bolt, which Markus Villig founded in 2013, has more than 100 million customers in over 45 countries. The company operates in seven countries across Africa, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Tunisia. The famous ride-hailing company decided to open its first regional hub in Africa due to rapidly growing demand.

The head office will be based in Riverside Drive. It will host some top executives, including the Regional Director and Interim VP for Rides, Regional Manager for Ride-hailing, East Africa, Regional Marketing Manager, Africa, Senior Head of Public Policy, and the Legal Director for Africa.

“This investment is strategic for us as it will enable us to run and coordinate operations seamlessly across Africa in an integrated manner,” said Paddy Partridge, Bolt’s Regional Director and Interim VP for Rides. “This is just the beginning, and we hope it enables us to develop a cohesive model for sustainable city engagement that will help improve city services and urban transportation for the millions of people in the region.”

Following its funding round earlier this year, the company raised over $700 million to go towards its worldwide expansion and build connections with new consumers and partners to encourage them to join their “super app.” Bolt also introduced their 15-minute grocery delivery option, Bolt Market, and a range of new features, including private hire drivers, electric scooter rentals, and food delivery. The platform has also accepted more than 400,000 drivers in more than 70 cities in Africa.

“Kenya’s strategic location in the region and the infrastructure have enabled us to grow tremendously in the East African market. We believe we can leverage this to achieve more across the entire continent still.”

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Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpamika is a tech reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.