SOUTH AFRICA – Taxi-hailing app, Bolt which was formerly known as Taxify, has unveiled plans of launching a food delivery service in South Africa.

According to a Business Report, the Chief executive and co-founder of Bolt, Markus Villig said that investment seeks to bring vigour into the South African food delivery sector.

“Combined with our technology, efficient operations and thousands of drivers in South Africa, we plan to build the best food delivery service for the people who already use our services daily.

This has led us to grow faster and more cost-efficiently than any other ride-hailing platform in the world, now we want to bring this approach to food delivery,” Markus said in a statement.

Bolt will roll out the service using its existing drivers and customers, to covers a larger geographic footprint as it continues to build on its business in secondary cities such as East London, Pietermaritzburg and Polokwane. 

According to the company, South Africa will be one of the first three countries globally to be offered the new service, along with Estonia and Finland.

The new entrant into the US$353 million food delivery market will compete with other delivery service such as Mr D Food and Uber Eats which collectively account for 90% of South Africa’s fast food delivery market. 

The company recently rebranded and changed its name as it gears up to a “key shift in business from just private cars to providing other services” and exploring new markets in its restructuring strategy.

The company is yet to announce the launch date of the service but has however launched sign-up sheets for both restaurants and food couriers at a dedicated food section of its website. 

In May last year, led by Daimler CEO and co-founder Markus Villigwhen, Bolts closed a US$175 million fundraising round and ended up with a valuation of US$1 Billion.

Mr D Food, owned by multinational Naspers, is among the top players in the sector which according to a report by Business Insider has an annual capacity to process over US$34.12 million worth of orders and has over 270,000 active users. 

According to Larry Illg, Naspers Ventures chief executive the South African food delivery sector remains largely unpenetrated and has a potential to grow above already established markets like in the west.