Bolt has opened its Africa head office in Nairobi, Kenya to oversee regional operations of the company and also host its top executives in the region.
The Africa Head office will serve as a regional hub to offer integrated services and host the company’s top leadership overseeing operations across Africa including Regional Director and Interim VP for Rides, Regional Manager for Ride-hailing, East Africa, Regional Marketing Manager, Africa, Senior Head of Public Policy and Legal Director for Africa.
Since its big round in January 2022 ($709M), the ride-hailing global firm has been serving more consumers, adding more partners and establishing new business lines. Currently, Bolt has a growing workforce of over 500 individuals looking after its operations, growth and excellence in the region creating earning opportunities for more than 400,000 drivers in more than 70 cities in Africa.
Bolt (also known as Taxify) opened the office in Riverside Drive, Nairobi. The African office will be the regional nerve centre of the company, whose operations in Africa cuts through seven countries.
The Estonian mobility company’s first markets in Africa were South Africa and Nigeria in 2016. Then in 2017, Bolt entered Kenya and Ghana. Its other African markets are Tunisia, Tanzania and Uganda.
Speaking on the office’s opening, Bolt Regional Director and Interim VP for Rides, Paddy Partridge, noted that the investment is significant in strengthening their presence in Africa as a region considering the country’s strategic location and infrastructural infrastructure advancement.
"This investment is strategic for us, as it will enable us to run and coordinate operations seamlessly across Africa in an integrated manner." The Regional Director added that the office would provide the company access to the great COMESA regional markets they are keen on expanding to. "Kenya’s strategic location in the region and the infrastructure have enabled us to grow tremendously in the East African market. We believe we can leverage this to achieve more across the entire continent still."
The mobility company will still maintain its local offices in all of its markets to seamlessly coordinate its operations more personally.
This is also coming months after the ride-hailing firm experienced operational difficulty in Tanzania. In April 2022, Bolt disclosed that it might switch off operations in the East African country. Uber, its main rival in Africa and Europe had earlier suspended operation in the country due to the tough regulatory environment.
The ride-hailing firm is looking to tap Africa’s increasing smartphone penetration, willingness to take up new technologies, youthful population and the overall demand for on-demand transportation services. This adds to the increasing number of big tech companies opening their first African office in Kenya. Some notable mentions include Visa which launched its first African innovation hub in Kenya, ICANN announced Kenya as the host of one of Africa's data centres and Google opened its first African Product Development Centre in Nairobi.