Bolt is partnering with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to promote access to on-demand mobility services in emerging economies.
IFC’s €20 million investment and advisory services will help Bolt expand mobility solutions that create earning opportunities, stimulate small-scale entrepreneurship, and improve access to transportation in Eastern European and African markets.
IFC’s funding will be targeted towards Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, and African markets, such as Nigeria and South Africa.
Bolt is currently piloting a ‘Women Only’ ride-hailing category in South Africa – a new service aiming to address safety needs and improve women’s mobility by connecting women drivers with women passengers. IFC will support Bolt’s ongoing work to empower women passengers and drivers by improving their access to safe and affordable transportation and creating new economic opportunities.
Markus Villig, CEO and Founder, Bolt said: “We are looking forward to partnering with IFC to further support entrepreneurship, empower women and increase access to affordable mobility services in Africa and Eastern Europe. Together with the investment from the European Investment Bank last year, we are proud to have sizable and strategically important institutions backing us and recognising the strategic value Bolt is providing to emerging economies.”
Femi Akin-Laguda, Country Manager, Bolt Nigeria also added: “As leaders in ride-hailing, we are committed to improving the way people move in Nigerian cities. Safety and affordability are at the core of our operations and with this partnership, we’re even more dedicated and committed to increasing earnings, and providing entrepreneurial opportunities for citizens.”
Stephanie von Friedeburg, IFC Senior Vice President of Operations, said: “Technology can and should unlock new pathways for sustainable development and women’s empowerment. Our investment in Bolt aims to help tap into technology to disrupt the transport sector in a way that is good for the environment, creates more flexible work opportunities for women, and provides safer and more affordable transportation access in emerging markets”.
Bolt launched Nigeria – its second African market – in 2016. The ride-hailing company currently operates across seven African countries, providing earning opportunities for over 400,000 drivers in 70 cities across the continent.