The ride-hailing company, Bolt has launched Bolt Food, its food delivery service in Nairobi, Kenya. Kenya is now the third country in Africa where Bolt food is currently available, after South Africa and Ghana. There are also plans in the works to launch Bolt Food in Nigeria, although no specific timeline has been disclosed. 

The launch of Bolt Food in Kenya is not a big surprise given that the company spoke about its plan to focus on food delivery in emerging markets. 

At present, Bolt offers food delivery services in 16 countries and 33 cities across the world but will grow that number this year after raising money in 2020 and 2021 for expansion purposes. 

In Kenya, Bolt will compete with global rivals, Uber Eats and Jumia’s Jumia Food, two companies that are also expanding through the region. There’s also the Spanish delivery company, Glovo which also launched in Nigeria recently.

The competition is fierce and the timing of Bolt Food’s launch coincides with the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya. The third wave has seen the number of fatalities jump up to 2,092.

“Kenya is squarely in the grip of the third wave of this pandemic,” Kenyatta said. “The death rate is devastating by all measures; the stress the pandemic is placing on our health system is unparalleled,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a live broadcast on Friday.

The President also announced restrictions on movement in Nairobi and four other counties. Yet, that will hardly be bad news for food delivery companies that have seen spikes in demand globally because of lockdowns. 

Bolt says it has onboarded 200 restaurants already with plans to add more in the coming weeks. Edgar Kipngetich Kitur, Bolt Food Kenya’s country manager, said, “food delivery has been a popular request for quite some time and we are glad to bring this service to the millions of people who are using our platform. 

“The infrastructure and experience we have built up with our ride-hailing business give us a good platform to expand and diversify our services.”

“We have a rich history in disrupting markets and will be applying our experience to our food delivery platform and offer affordable delivery fees, better working conditions for our couriers and you can find our favourite brands selection. We are launching with amazing restaurant promotions and free delivery.” 

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