On-demand mobility platform Bolt expands food delivery services to Nigeria

NIGERIA – Bolt, an Estonian ride-hailing company is venturing into the food delivery business in Nigeria, bringing competition to the door step of companies like Jumia Foods and GoKada.

This was made known as a job position advertisement on the company’s website stating, “We are launching our new food delivery service and we are looking for a Restaurant Sales Manager who can help in establishing partnerships with local businesses.”

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have ventured into or expanded their food delivery services in Nigeria.

Gokada switched to food delivery last year while Jumia Foods launched its services to five additional states in the country and notably registering 30% month-on-month food orders growth.

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With the entrance in Nigeria, Bolt Food is expected to shake up the dominance currently held by Jumia Foods as some reports claim that the E- hailing service boasts of 20,000 drivers within Nigeria.

Bolt will leverage on its already developed network, in addition to the recent backing by the IFC, who invested €20 million (US$23.8m) in the company to help expand its services in underserved urban areas in Africa and Eastern Europe.

The IFC investment will be directed towards Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, and African markets, such as Nigeria and South Africa.

Bolt offers food delivery services in 16 countries and 33 cities across the world

Bolt currently has more than 30 million users in over 35 countries globally and Africa is its biggest market, with over half of its business worldwide coming from the seven African markets of South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda.

This current funding is one of the ways the company differentiates itself from its rival, Uber. But one thing both companies have in common is that they are betting big on food delivery.

Bolt currently offers food delivery services in 16 countries and 33 cities across the world while Uber Eats is in 6,000 cities across 45 countries.

Despite Uber being one of the biggest players in food delivery on the global stage, it has no food delivery service in Nigeria.

As Bolt Foods enters the Nigerian market, Glovo, the Spanish delivery startup has launched its operations in Ghana.

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This makes it Glovo’s second market in West Africa and the fifth African country after Kenya, Morocco, Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire, where the firm has established operations.

Meanwhile, Jumia Foods is planning to launch in Egypt during the first quarter.

The move will make Egypt the tenth market where the ecommerce giant will be offering its restaurant delivery services, joining Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana, Uganda, Algeria and Senegal with exemption of South Africa.

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