Ride-hailing service Bolt is set to launch e-scooter services amid an expansion plan to centers and smaller towns following a Sh19.8 billion injection from a US private equity firm.
Bolt Country Manager Olaoluwa Akinnusi will introduce the scooters as it expands beyond the 16 urban centres already covered.
The global company has secured Sh19.8 billion from American private equity firm, D1 Capital Partner. The funds will also be channeled towards investing in security tools and expanding the company’s food delivery services.
Security measures to be implemented include facial verification tools to help prevent sharing of the driver’s platform.
The e-scooters will serve as an alternative to motorbikes. These are two-wheeled vehicles running on rechargeable batteries. They will especially come in handy for short-hop trips within the city or for delivery purposes.
The electric scooters are already fully functional in western countries and were recently launched in South Africa. They are also cheaper than normal taxi trips and users will be able to request the self-driven e-scooters on the company’s smartphone app.
Through the e-scooters, Bolt is giving users a self-driven open-air alternative to taxi and public transport amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company has cited poor infrastructure which presents a barrier to a large-scale rollout of the e-scooters.
Bolt will also be expanding its services to semi-urban areas as it takes on Jumia Food, Uber Eats, and others in the food delivery business.