Ride-hailing company, Bolt has disclosed plans to commence its electronic-based food delivery operations in Kenya.
Mobility constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have notably affected the ride-sharing services offered by the company, leading to a sharp reduction in the number of bookings on its e-hailing platform, and has Bolt looking into other viable means of raising substantial revenue by entering into the food delivery business in Kenya.
“We’re already present in 30+ markets across Europe and Africa. Now, it’s time for us to bring the know-how around building a mobility platform to the food delivery industry.”Bolt statement
Kenya will become the third African country where Bolt Food operates, with the food delivery service having already launched in South Africa and Nigeria where Bolt has over 60% share of the ride-hailing space.
Bolt has advertised the position of Country Manager for its food delivery arm in Kenya, a strong hint that the company is set to begin operations in the country.
Bolt’s biggest competitor, Uber has seen its food delivery service, Uber Eats flourish massively during this period. Uber Eats posted revenues of up to $819 million in Q1 2020, 53% more than that of Q1 2019 ($536 million).
The last time Bolt made its financial statement available was in 2018, when it realised $95 million in revenues at a net loss of $72 million.
Bolt saw a 75% drop off in revenues around mid-March this year and will be looking to Bolt Food across Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya to replicate and top the figures from Uber Eats. This is in a bid to shoot up its own revenues, offset its losses and start making substantial profits, despite the current economic situation.
Food Delivery on the Rise in Africa
Jumia Food is the leading electronic food delivery service in Africa, spanning Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Algeria, Uganda and Tunisia. The platform runs a three-stage process that starts from the selection of a delivery location to choosing a favourite eatery, meal and completing payment to waiting for your food to be delivered right at your doorstep.
Jumia Food gives users access to a huge variety of restaurants as well as their menus. Users can book less expensive foods from local cafeterias through the app. Delivery charges are determined individually by the listed restaurants. Jumia Prime members get unlimited free delivery.
Unlike Jumia Food, Uber Eats only operates in South Africa and Kenya. Uber’s food delivery gateway works in a like manner to Jumia’s. Foods listed on UberEats restaurants are generally more expensive to order, especially those on McDonald’s, but users in South Africa get a month of unlimited free delivery with Eats Pass.
Glovo is another popular online food delivery service with operations in Kenya, Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire. The modus operandi of its app is similar to both Jumia Food and Uber Eats. Glovo also runs a Prime service that gives customers free delivery, but only for selected stores.
Across Jumia, Uber Eats and Glovo, delivery times vary depending on user’s location.
Bolt to Face Stiff Competition in Kenya’s Food Delivery Space
Bolt Food will be coming up against the biggest food delivery companies in Kenya. Jumia Food has over 250 restaurants in Kenya with more than 10,000 customers in Nairobi. Uber Eats has over 400 restaurants listed on its app in Kenya while Glovo caters to a large number of Kenyans as well.
Bolt Food will have to offer better food quality from an array of premium and local restaurants, faster delivery times, free delivery incentives and gain customer trust in Kenya, Africa’s biggest food delivery service market, to stand a chance of making it big time.