Bolt, the rideshare service that competes with Uber in Europe and Africa, has launched a food delivery service in its home country of Estonia, according to an article published on Bloomberg. Formerly called Taxify, Bolt is delivering meals from about 80 restaurants in Estonia’s capital of Tallinn right now and plans to expand food delivery services to other parts of Europe as well as Africa in 2020.
In the world of food delivery, Bolt may be rather late to the game, but the company has some advantage in that it already serves a sizable market: 25 million users and 30 countries worldwide, according to a statement quoted in the Bloomberg article. In some of those markets, like Poland and Kenya, the company has surpassed Uber as the preferred service.
Even with that reach, however, Bolt faces a highly competitive food delivery landscape in Europe that’s recently undergone significant consolidation. In July, third-party delivery heavyweights Just Eat and Takeaway.com merged to form Just Eat Takeaway.com, creating a massive company in terms of size and scale for others to contend with. And since Takeaway.com is a leading service in Germany, it came as no surprise that a couple weeks after the merger, rival Deliveroo announced it was exiting the German market completely to focus on growing its business in other parts of Europe and APAC.
Having that existing 25 million-strong user base could help Bolt successfully take on this crowded market, and Bolt’s Chief Product Officer, Jevgeni Kabanov, told CNBC that the company plans to offer more competitive pricing and higher pay for workers than competitor services.
Loyalty to any one particular service isn’t high in the food delivery world right now, as consumers tend to hop from one deal to the next across multiple different apps. But if Bolt can build the kind of ecosystem that would entice users to stay within its own app, something Uber is already doing, it has a shot at standing out in the expanding world of food delivery.