- Bolt has announced that it will expand its operations into Harare, Zimbabwe, and waive driver commissions for at least six months.
- This is consistent with the e-hailing company”s plans to invest €500 million ($542.8 million) in Africa to expand and create jobs for over 300,000 new drivers and couriers.
- Laurent Koerge, Head of Expansion at Bolt, stated that the company’s goal extends beyond increasing driver revenue per hire. He added that it includes ensuring a high demand due to competitive prices.
“Accordingly, our commission is significantly lower than that of our competitors,” Koerge said.
Markus Villig founded the ride-hailing company in 2013, and it now serves over 150 million customers across 45 countries with over 3 million drivers.
After its initial launch in South Africa in 2016, the company has expanded into 12 African nations: Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Tunisia, Mozambique, Mali, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
The business, which plans to expand throughout the continent, recently announced the opening of Bolt Send, a same-day package delivery service in Johannesburg North that lets users easily send small packages and gifts using the Bolt app.
Over time, it has encountered various challenges, including safety concerns and low pay. For instance, in Southern Africa, in July 2023, South African drivers protested due to these issues.
Consequently, in December 2023, Bolt South Africa introduced a new verification process before requesting a ride on the platform. This process includes new riders taking a clear selfie to verify their identity and uploading a copy of this identification document to validate their selfie image.
In Eastern Africa, Bolt Kenya suspended one of its drivers for his unwanted and inappropriate sexual behaviour in October 2023.
Besides, Ciku Muiruri, a Kenyan media personality, reported that her daughter and a friend were kidnapped after booking a Bolt ride. The kidnappers reportedly demanded KSh 500,000 ($3,580) for both girls.
In Nigeria, three of its drivers were allegedly shot dead by gunmen in Port Harcourt in October 2023, prompting them to advocate for National Identification Numbers (NIN) to verify passengers.