Popular ride-hailing startup in Europe and Africa Bolt has launched its ride-hailing service in Nepal, a country in South Asia.
The company on Wednesday announced the pilot of its on-demand ride-hailing service in the country with more than 400 local drivers in Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu.
This follows the company’s previous market expansion into an Asian country, Thailand in 2020, and an even more recent $530 million investment commitment to expand its operations in Africa.
Its expansion into the country sets it against existing brands in the country’s ride-hailing market including InDrive and Bangladesh’s Pathao, both foreign ride-hailing companies and domestic startups Tootle and Sahara.
However, Bolt is looking to attract customers to its platform with lower service fees than other competitors on the market and zero commissions to attract existing ride-hailing drivers.
While Bolt has not made any significant investments in Nepal at the moment and is coordinating operations from its Estonian headquarters, the startup is taking a cautious look at the market response and may expand its business in the country after seeing some initial growth in adoption among drivers and riders. It also has two other verticals grocery and food delivery that could eventually launch in Nepal as well.
Founded in 2013, Bolt (formerly called mTakso and Taxify) has around 100 million customers in 45 countries and 500 cities across Europe and Africa. The startup raised more than €1 billion from investors, including Sequoia, World Bank’s IFC and European Investment Bank. It is currently valued at €7.6 billion.