KENYA – Bolt (formerly Taxify), an Estonian-based taxi hailing firm has officially launched operations to four towns as the company firms up plans to have the widest geographical reach in the country.

These include Naivasha, Nakuru, Kitale and Eldoret towns. With the launch of its services in these towns, Bolt is now available in 9 towns across the country.

“Bolt has had a steady growth across Kenya contributed by our expansion into new markets, which is largely driven by the demand for our quality service,” said Ola Akinnusi, Bolt Country Manager.

“As the festive season approaches, we are excited to make movement for our customers affordable, convenient and safe across the North Rift region, giving locals and visitors more choices to move smartly”

Bolt first launched its services in Nairobi in 2016 before entering Mombasa a year later. In June, it launched in Thika, Kisumu and Kakamega.

Bolt customers can hail a variety of transport services including taxi, tuk-tuk and boda boda rides.

Bolt said its expansion bid is geared towards making urban transportation convenient and affordable to everyone while offering an array of ride-hailing options.

“It’s been an absolutely exhilarating ride since we hit the streets of Kenya. We are humbled to have moved with you over a million times in the cities where we operate,” said Mr Akinnusi.

Bolt is set to rival local e-hailing firm Wasili, which has a presence in the four towns. Wasili used Nakuru as its launch pad in June last year before entering the three additional towns earlier in the year.

Bolt is also set to launch food delivery service locally after unveiling it in Europe last August. The firm also plans to venture into mass transport business.

Earlier in June, the firm introduced a service that enables company employees to take rides at the expense of the employer, as it moved to diversify its product offering to grow its revenue streams.

The product dubbed Bolt for Business is already available in more than 25 countries and rivals Uber4Business. It replaces the need for companies to enrol the services of taxi companies.

The platform also requires employees to feed the purpose of the trip into the app before it can begin.

Bolt entered the local market after launching in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The technology company set up in 2013 is currently available in various cities across Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania and Nigeria.