When folks talk about ride sharing Uber is generally the first company you’d think of, but Bolt is making waves in the sector.
Recently the firm announced that South African women could request rides exclusively from female drivers. It’s a simple solution to addressing gender-based violence in South Africa and the latest from Bolt will hopefully bring more solutions like this to the fore.
That news is that World Bank Group member, IFC, has invested €20 million in Bolt to, “to promote access to on-demand mobility services in emerging economies”. Specifically, Bolt will use this investment to expand mobility solutions, improve earning opportunities and improve access to transport in Eastern Europe and Africa.
The firm hopes to build on its successes in South Africa, Nigeria and Ukraine.
Bolt reports that it has 400 000 drivers across 70 African cities and that the IFC funding will be used to support its operations and efforts, such as Women Only, in the aforementioned countries.
“We are looking forward to partnering with IFC to further support entrepreneurship, empower women and increase access to affordable mobility services in Africa and Eastern Europe. Together with the investment from the European Investment Bank last year, we are proud to have sizeable and strategically important institutions backing us and recognising the strategic value Bolt is providing to emerging economies,” chief executive officer and founder of Bolt, Markus Villig said of the investment.
Meanwhile Bolt’s regional manager for South Africa, Gareth Taylor, says this investment will help stimulate local entrepreneurship and “enable progress for drivers and passengers by transforming transportation on the continent”.
We hope to see more innovative solutions from Bolt on the back of this investment.
The firm does seem to have a better insight into the local market compared to its competitors and we’re keen to see what other plans Bolt has for the African continent.