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    HomeEcosystem NewsIs Bolt Leaving Nigeria Behind? New $237 Million Raise Raises Concerns

    Is Bolt Leaving Nigeria Behind? New $237 Million Raise Raises Concerns

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    Estonian ride-hailing company Bolt, a major competitor to Uber in Africa, has secured a €220 million ($237 million) revolving credit facility from a consortium of banks. This financial boost comes amidst a recent wave of layoffs in the company’s operations in Nigeria, raising concerns about Bolt’s long-term commitment to the country.

    The revolving credit facility strengthens Bolt’s financial position as it strives for profitability. The company highlights its “solid financial standing” as a reason for securing favorable terms on the loan. Markus Villig, Bolt’s Founder and CEO, views this as a crucial step towards an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

    However, amidst these financial developments, concerns loom over Bolt’s Nigerian operations, with recent layoffs impacting nearly half of its workforce in the country. Sources close to the matter revealed that 22 out of 45 staff members have been affected, including senior management roles, marking a significant shift in Bolt’s operational strategy.

    The decision to downsize its Nigerian workforce, particularly in cities like Warri, Port Harcourt, and Edo State, reflects Bolt’s efforts to streamline operations and improve cost efficiencies. High fuel prices, escalating spare parts costs, and economic challenges have strained the profitability of Bolt’s operations in Nigeria, prompting strategic reassessment.

    In response to inquiries, Bolt clarified that the recent workforce adjustments are part of a broader restructuring process aimed at optimizing customer support and operational functions. The company emphasized its commitment to providing severance packages to affected employees to facilitate their transition to new career opportunities.

    This isn’t the first time Bolt has undertaken such measures in Nigeria. In February 2023, the company initiated layoffs affecting approximately a third of its Nigerian workforce, predominantly junior and mid-level staff. Despite assurances of minimal impact on operations, these actions underscore the operational challenges facing Bolt in Nigeria’s dynamic market landscape.

    While Bolt maintains its commitment to Nigeria, the recent staff reductions and economic challenges raise concerns about the company’s long-term presence in the country. Sources speculate that Bolt might either completely exit Nigeria or limit its services to Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, the most profitable cities.

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