Bolt readies SA food delivery service

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Bolt will launch its food delivery service in Cape Town before expanding to other local cities.
Bolt will launch its food delivery service in Cape Town before expanding to other local cities.

Bolt, the ride-hailing platform formerly known as Taxify, is preparing to launch a food delivery service in Cape Town.

The local offering, expected in the next few months, will see Bolt take on food delivery services such as UberEATS, OrderIn and Mr D Food, which are all fiercely competing for their share of the local market.

According to Bolt, SA will become one of the first three countries worldwide in which the service will be offered, with Estonia and Finland also on the cards.

Markus Villig, CEO and co-founder of Bolt, says while the new service will be initially introduced in Cape Town, the company plans to expand it across other local cities at a later stage.

"Bolt has been built around offering the best prices for passengers, and good commissions for drivers. This has led us to grow faster and more cost-efficiently than other ride-hailing platforms around the world.

"Now we want to bring this approach to food delivery. Having more alternatives in the market is better for both local customers and couriers. We believe we can leverage our experience with logistics and use the existing technology to build the best food delivery network."

Bolt recently underwent a global rebrand, introducing a new logo and changing its name from Taxify, in a move aimed at bringing its brand identity in line with the company's global vision of transportation, it explained at the time.

Bolt was founded by Villig in 2013 and launched locally in April 2016. The company says it has over 25 million passengers in 30 countries of operation.

It operates in 13 cities and towns across the five provinces in SA and says it has created employment opportunities for over 10 000 driver partners locally and 500 000 drivers globally.

"One of Taxify's key success factors in its rapid expansion has been the fact that its drivers receive 85% of all fares paid by riders; a significantly higher percentage than what drivers using other similar platforms receive," it notes.

Last May, the ride-hailing service raised $175 million in funding from Daimler AG. Previous funders include Didi Chuxing, Korelya Capital and TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus.

Its services include ride-hailing, with cars and motorbikes, as well as scooter sharing.

"Bolt is available in more South African cities than any other ride-hailing platform, and this development will enable more South Africans to access the convenience and cost-efficiency of an app-based food delivery service," notes Villig.

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