Bolt marks 9th anniversary, key post-pandemic growth
THECONSCIENCEng reports that Bolt, Nigeria’s mobility service company, has quadrupled its business globally since the start of the pandemic, recording its most successful month on record this July.
Bolt, which launched two new products since the start of the pandemic, has operations in 45 countries and over 500 cities across Europe and Africa now – an increase of over 200% in the period prior to the pandemic.
Globally, Bolt has tripled its number of customers to over 100 million since the beginning of 2020, added more than 2 million new drivers to the platform, and more than doubled the size of its workforce to over 3000 employees.
The business has also opened several new offices over the past year, including engineering hubs in Berlin and Nairobi, and continues to advertise over 350 open roles with a view to hiring 700 more employees by year end.
The announcement of these new stats comes as Bolt marks its ninth anniversary since Markus Villig founded the company in Tallinn, Estonia, in 2013. Then just a teenager, Markus personally recruited the first drivers to the platform on the streets of Tallinn and has since built a business valued at €7.6bn at the time of its latest funding round.
Markus Villig, CEO and Founder said: “The pandemic was the biggest economic shock in generations, so hitting milestones like 100 million customers and operations in over 500 cities are achievements we’re really proud of.
“When Bolt was first founded, our mission was to challenge the traditional taxi industry in Tallinn through a new ride-hailing service. Now our size and the range of products we offer put us in a unique position to revolutionise how people move around the cities. By providing an alternative to private cars, we can help create cities that are greener, safer and more pleasant to live in.
“It’s important to stay grounded though – rising levels of inflation and interest rates mean we have to be disciplined when assessing how and in what markets we invest.
This could mean prioritising growth efforts in our existing markets instead of expanding our services into new countries. Our culture of frugality helped us come out of the pandemic in a strong position, but the challenges are not going to stop, and the team is focused on preparing for and responding to them.”
Since Bolt’s launch in Lagos in 2016, it has expanded its operation into 25 states and 33 cities since the pandemic to provide seamless mobility offerings to Nigerians.
In 2021, Bolt extended its Bolt Food service to Nigeria increasing its product offering in the country. The introduction of Bolt Food in Nigeria came after the platform accessed post-pandemic realities and decided to help provide easier access to daily essentials such as food.
Oludele Dare, Bolt Nigeria Country Manager said, “We are happy to see the post-pandemic growths that the business has experienced. When we first launched in Nigeria, our mission was to transform the ride-hailing and mobility sector.
Scaling during the pandemic was a challenge but our focus on providing seamless mobility services to Nigerians ensured that we maintained growth. Our business in Nigeria is built on efficiency and easing mobility for riders while offering drivers a flexible opportunity to earn more income.”