Ride hailing service Bolt is launching a food delivery service in Nigeria. The big announcement came after the International Finance Corporation (IFC) invested €20 million ($23 million) in the company.
Bolt was formerly known as MTakso and later Taxify before it was rebranded. It is primarily a transportation network company that offers vehicle for hire, micromobility and scooter-sharing system (in some countries). It was founded in August 2013 by Markus Villing and is headquartered in Talking, Estonia. Currently Bolt is operational in more than 200 cities in 40 countries across Europe, Western Asia, Latin America and Africa. Bolt has over 1 million drivers offering rides on the platform and a customer base of over 50 million globally.
Bolt has moved into the food delivery service in Nigeria and is ready to stand against big contenders like Jumia which is primarily an online store service but also has a food delivery service. In an ad by Bolt that read, ‘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’, the company is already on the move to kickstart its food delivery service.
Although Bolt’s food delivery service is new in Nigeria, it isn’t entirely a new service being offered by the company. The company already offers food delivery services across 33 cities in 16 countries globally. The company announced its expansion after it raised the sum of $182 million in December.
Bolt is not the first e-taxi platform to diversify into food delivery service. In fact, globally recognized brand Uber also has a food delivery service even though it is not a service the company offers in Nigeria.
Bolt running a food delivery service in Nigeria means that it joins other companies like Gokada (which was primarily a bike-hailing service but switched to logistics), OyaNow and most importantly Jumia in the food delivery service market.
Jumia has the biggest food delivery service in the country and grew by 30 percent month-to-month in the lockdown period due to the coronavirus disease.
According to the figures published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), residents in Lagos spent ₦830 billion ($2 billion) eating out in 2019; and this represents 34% of total food expenditure.
This goes to show that the market is more than enough for both Jumia and Bolt to thrive. Food delivery service in Nigeria get between 10 to about 18 percent on commission and do not need to spend so much on advertising, especially because they are already established brands that have gained the trust of people.
Bolt speculatively has over 20,000 drivers within the country and this would be an advantage over the biggest and primary server of the food delivery service in Nigeria; Jumia. Jumia is primarily an online store service and partners with other startups for its delivery service. Bolt is already an established brand and adding a food delivery service to its services in Nigeria is quite a strategic move that has more than enough reason to be successful. What this mean is that in a market where Jumia has always been king, Bolt might be coming fast after that position.
Who knows if Uber might also launch its food delivery service in Nigeria? Or if anyone of these companies might be planning to integrate cryptocurrency in their operations.