KENYA – Taxi hailing services company Bolt Kenya, is set to launch e-scooter rental business and expand to smaller towns and peri-urban centres in Kenya after raising US$180.9 million US private equity firm D1 Capital Partners.
The move comes after Bolt, the global company, headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia received US$180.9 million from private equity firm, D1 Capital Partners, which will also be for invested in security tools and expansion of food delivery business.
The plan involves inclusion of facial verification tools to prevent sharing of the driver’s platforms and improve security.
The company is also pushing for e-scooters, a two-wheeled vehicle running on small rechargeable batteries, for short-hop trips in the city or delivery, serving as an alternative to motorbikes.
“Bolt will expand its network beyond the 16 urban centres it currently operates and introduce the electric scooters”
Users will be able to hire the self-driven e-scooters via the smartphone app, in a similar way to car rides.
Taxi hailing services reckon that lack of infrastructure to support the e-scooters remains a barrier to their large-scale rollout.
Bolt will also be expanding its services to other peri-urban towns and pump up its food delivery business, Bolt Food, launched last week, taking on its competitors including Jumia Food, Uber Eats and Glovo.
Two months ago, the on-demand mobility platform, has raised US$182 million to bolster the safety of its platform through facial recognition and artificial intelligence in a funding round led by D1 Capital Partners, with the participation of Darsana Capital Partners.
Founded by Markus Villig, Martin Villig, and Oliver Leisalu, the Uber rival has developed an on-demand network of ride-hailing, micro mobility, and food delivery services in 200 cities and 40 countries.
Bolt Food, launched in 2019, is currently available in 16 countries and 33 cities.