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Oct 5, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Moving on from electric scooters, Bolt launches a food delivery service

The Bolt brand is launching a food delivery service. The group wants to expand its business, given the fierce competition on the electric scooter market.

 

At the end of August, self-service electric scooter rental platform Bolt, formerly Taxify and Txfy in France, announced the launch of their food delivery service, which is due to be rolled out across Europe in 2020.  “Bolt Food” is currently being trialled in Tallinn, Estonia, where the group’s headquarters are based, before expanding into Latvia, Lithuania and South Africa by the end of 2019. It is set to launch in Europe and Africa in 2020. 

 

Chauffeur-driven cars, scooters, etc. 

 

Based on the model used by other market operators, the application offers a delivery service for meals ordered from nearby restaurants. “We have more than 25 million people around the world using Bolt, and food delivery has been a popular request for quite some time,” Jevgeni Kabanov, chief product officer for Bolt Food, was quoted as saying in a press release.

The group, which is also established on the ride-hailing market and claims to be Europe’s leading platform for demand-responsive transport, hopes to transform its electric scooter users into a loyal clientele of home delivery consumers. Due to increased competition in the self-service electric scooter market, the group saw its profits threatened, which is why the company is seeking to branch out. 

 

Fierce competition

 

Last July, the platform decided to “temporarily” take its scooters, which were launched in Paris in September 2018, out of circulation. The “high number of players on the market”, too many scooters in proportion to the rate of use, and “consequent maintenance costs” are behind this withdrawal, a company spokesperson told AFP.  

There were 12 scooter-sharing schemes operating in the French capital, but six of them stopped operating or put their services on hold last June. The Mayor of Paris announced that she wants to reduce the number of scooter-sharing schemes in the capital to just three.

Last May, Bolt had to defend their brand against Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who wanted to lend his name to the scooter-sharing company he’d just launched in Paris. The French courts ruled in favour of the Estonian company, whose scooters are green, and forced new arrival Bolt Mobility (whose scooters are yellow and black) to change their name. Usain Bolt’s company was rebranded as “B”.

 

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