The food delivery service which launched in 2021, has cited strategic reasons for shutting down in the country.
Nigerians will no longer be able to place food orders on the Bolt Food app as Bolt is shutting down its food delivery service in the country from December 7, 2023. The company announced its decision as a move to streamline its resources and maximise its overall efficiency.
Bolt, which currently offers food delivery services in 16 countries and 33 cities across the world, launched Bolt Food in Nigeria in October 2021 after increased demand for food delivery services during the pandemic. Since its launch in the country, Bolt Food claims it has partnered with over 10,000 restaurants, delivered over 1 million meals, and onboarded 23,000 agents and 12,000 merchants.
When Bolt Food launched, its significant competitors were Jumia Food and Gokada before new competitors like Glovo, Chowdeck, and Buyfood appeared in the $834.7 million Nigerian food delivery market. While Bolt Food’s decision to exit was blamed on a need to streamline resources, its competitor, ChowDeck, a Y Combinator-backed Nigerian food delivery startup, recently crossed ₦1 billion ($1.2 million) in monthly order value. ChowDeck’s CEO, Femi Aluko claims that Chowdeck’s growth in October was organic.
Food delivery businesses in the country are facing stringent macroeconomic challenges which has affected their operations. Rising fuel prices have led Logistics startups like Bolt to up delivery fees by 20-50%. A rising inflation rate also means that these logistics companies will have increased operation costs. Aside from these macroeconomic conditions, poor road networks make it difficult and time-consuming for delivery riders to get around which ultimately leads to delayed deliveries and customer dissatisfaction. Also, the food delivery market in Nigeria is becoming increasingly competitive, with new players entering the market all the time. Sometimes inaccurate map locations affect food deliveries and notorious traffic congestion in places like Lagos adds to the list of hurdles faced by this food delivery service.