Taxify changes name as it seeks new business stream

NAIROBI, KENYA: Online taxi firm Taxify has changed its name to Bolt and introducing a new logo.

The update brings the brand identity in line with the company’s broader vision of transportation that has already expanded from ride hailing, with cars and motorbikes, to scooter sharing.

 Speaking on why the company chose to make the change, Markus Villig, CEO and co-founder, Bolt said, “Taxify launched five years ago with a mission to make urban transportation more convenient and affordable. Our first product was a taxi dispatch solution that gave the company its original name.”

 According to General Manager for East Africa at Bolt, Shivachi Muleji, while the company has made progress on their mission, they also started to outgrow parts of their brand, including the name.

"Given our ambition to solve transportation problems on an increasingly broader scale, we want the brand to reflect the company’s future rather than the past. Our new name ‘Bolt’ stands for fast, effortless movement – exactly what the experience of getting around in a city should be, be it by car, scooter or public transport. It also underscores our belief that the future of transportation will be electric," Muleji explained.

Bolt users will not need to take any action, as the app will update automatically.

Kenya has seen a rapid growth in its taxi industry since the adoption of technology in the sectors. Key players such as uber, little, Mondo ride app have taken the industry by storm significantly replacing the traditional taxi businesses.

Despite the growth, hurdles have plagued the sector over the past year, as drivers and partners decry poor regulations in the sector.

The problems in the business are characterised by high commissions paid by cab drivers and owners to the taxi hailing firms and unfair pricing because of constant price wars between the firms as they compete for a larger market share.

Unfair pricing by the taxi hailing firms has resulted in a number of protests over the past two years.

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