Bolt Kenya, one of the vital well-liked ride-hailing apps within the East African nation, has denied having buyout discussions with Little App, a Kenyan competitor, after a report by Kenyan publication Business Daily, claimed each corporations have been in talks. The publication stated that Bolt and Little App’s talks solely ended after the Nationwide Transport Authority of Kenya (NTSA) renewed Bolt’s annual operating licence.
“Bolt has not engaged in any discussions relating to a possible buyout, as we aren’t out there for acquisition,” Bolt Kenya advised TechCabal in an electronic mail. “We admire the curiosity expressed by one in every of our rivals in our firm; nevertheless, we stay steadfast in our dedication to function inside the market below the Bolt model.”
Little App’s CEO, Kamal Budhabhatti, who heads the app’s mum or dad firm Craft Silicon, stated they’d despatched Bolt a letter proposing a “doable collaboration.” “Bolt had gotten some problem in getting the licence from the Kenyan transport authority,” he stated. “Such mergers and acquisitions have occurred in different elements of the world like Southeast Asia between Uber and Seize.” Kamal additional clarified that the letter aimed to open the door for discussions. Little stopped collaboration makes an attempt after Bolt bought its licence.
Within the final couple of weeks, Bolt’s licence renewal train was halted by NTSA following a number of assault complaints from prospects and riders. The NTSA requested the corporate to supply a plan to handle the considerations. The ride-hailing platform then dropped the controversial and “unlawful” reserving payment and stated it had opened an area workplace in Nairobi to handle driver accomplice grievances.
Little App, which operates in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Ghana, says it bootstrapped itself to profitability and had a valuation of about $80 million in 2022. It plans to increase to 2 different African markets in 2024. In August 2022, Little App revealed plans to sell 25% of its stake to personal traders in a transfer aimed toward boosting its valuation to $100 million. The sale has since been dropped as a result of, per the CEO, Little is worthwhile. Its present valuation is between $200-250 million.
Then again, in early 2022, Bolt raised $711 million in a brand new spherical of funding led by Sequoia Capital and Constancy. This funding valued the company at about $8.4 billion, up from $4.8 billion 5 months earlier.