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Uber rival Bolt launches food-delivery, starting in Estonia

The rest of Europe and Africa to follow next year.

Bolt, the ride-hailing service formerly known as Taxify, said it has begun operating a food-delivery business in its native Estonia, and will launch in other European and African countries next year.

Bolt Food will deliver meals from about 80 restaurants in the country’s capital of Tallinn, using the company’s existing network of thousands of drivers, the company said in a statement Wednesday. Bloomberg reported in March that Chief Executive Officer Markus Villig would consider bringing a food-delivery service “anywhere we have a market-leading position.”

The Estonian company’s expansion follows significant consolidation of the food-delivery market in Western Europe. In August, Takeaway.com and Britain’s Just Eat agreed on terms to combine their two businesses. Takeaway also agreed to acquire the German business of Delivery Hero for approximately 930 million euros ($1 billion) in December.

Bolt has 25 million registered users across the 30 countries where it’s active, and hundreds of thousands of drivers working for its ride-hailing service, according to a spokesman. Villig said in March he’s confident the market will support his ambition to compete in the food-delivery space.

The company raised $175 million in May last year at a $1 billion valuation, in a deal led by Daimler.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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