Companies

Ride-hailing firm Bolt opens Africa hub in Nairobi

Bolt2

Ride-hailing firm Bolt has launched its African hub in Nairobi, joining a growing list of tech companies that have set their eyes on Kenya to expand in the region. 

The Estonian-based company has opened its Africa head office in Riverside Drive, which will host top managers overseeing operations in the region.

Bolt currently operates in seven African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Tunisia.

The firm did not have a centralised African office but operated offices in respective subsidiaries.

“Its strategic location in the region and the available infrastructure has enabled us to grow tremendously in the East African Market and we believe we can leverage this to still achieve more across the entire continent,” Bolt regional director Paddy Partridge said.

The company says it will use Nairobi’s strategic location on the continent to expand to other Comesa markets as it raises to grow its market share in the ride-hailing sector.

“This is just the beginning, and we hope it enables us to develop a cohesive model for sustainable cities engagement that will help improve city services, and urban transportation for the millions of people in the region,” Mr Partridge said.

Bolt joins other tech firms that have set up hubs and labs in Nairobi as they race to tap into the African market.

American tech giant Microsoft early this year opened a Sh3 billion ($27 million) office and labs for its premier engineering hub, the African Development Centre (ADC).

ALSO READ: Microsoft opens Sh3 billion tech talent hub in Kenya

Google also is investing in its first-ever Africa product development hub in Nairobi as part of the tech firm's Sh115.5 billion investment on the continent over the next five years.

ALSO READ: Google to open tech hub in Nairobi as part of Sh115.5bn Africa investment

Other companies that are setting base in Kenya include Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of Amazon, which is opening a data centre and card payment firm Visa.