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Bolt launches in Botswana and waives driver commission for six months

Bolt launches in Botswana and waives driver commission for six monthsBolt is launching in Botswana. (Image source: Bolt)

Recently updated on March 12th, 2024 at 01:21 pm

Bolt, the Estonian ride-hailing company, is launching in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, and will compete in a market with only one other ride-hailing player: inDrive. 

Bolt will not charge its typical commission from drivers, usually between 15% and 20% of the ride fee, for six months as part of its rollout. The company said 100 drivers have been on-boarded so far.

Bolt’s launch in Botswana continues the company’s expansion in southern Africa. It has launched in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia in the last six months. Botswana is the 14th African country that Bolt has launched since first launching in South Africa in 2016.

“We are thrilled to introduce our services in Botswana,” said Laurent Koerge, head of expansion at Bolt. “Our aim is to increase earnings for our drivers while fostering high demand through competitive pricing.”

Bolt enters a Botswana ride-hailing market ripe for growth but also presents a challenging operating environment for ride-hailing platforms. inDrive was the first platform to test out the Botswana market, launching in the country five years ago. It remained the only platform in the country until now. 

Although it has blown up in popularity, perhaps showing the amount of demand for ride-hailing in the country, inDrive has faced numerous challenges, including allegations of driver misconduct as well as pushback from public transport operators. 

Bolt has features such as an SOS button, which allows riders and drivers to contact the police instantly; driver unmatching, which will allow a rider or driver never to be matched up with one another; and a “share my ride” option which will allow both parties to share real-time ride information. The platform will also require drivers to have all the requisite licenses from local regulators. Through these features, the company will be hoping to address the issues of safety and misconduct that have plagued ride-hailing in Botswana.

In early 2023, Bolt announced its plan to invest over €500 million in the African market. One of its initiatives was to offer job opportunities to over 300,000 driver partners. The company operates in 45 countries globally, serving over 150 million customers and working with over 3 million drivers.

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