Bolt is throwing its hat in the ring in the increasingly crowded field for dark stores for food and grocery deliveries.

Dark stores are warehouses and fulfilment centers strategically placed around cities to allow for rapid delivery of goods to customers.

Bolt, which also runs ride-hailing and micromobility services, pushed deeper into grocery deliveries with partner supermarkets last year as demand soared during pandemic lockdowns.

Chief product officer Jevgeni Kabanov said that the move into dark stores was part of a “larger strategy” around Bolt’s food vertical. But it faces a great deal of competition in the space.

Glovo, one of Bolt’s chief competitors, has invested heavily in its dark stores while the last year has seen several grocery delivery start-ups pop up relying on the same model, often promising 15-minute deliveries. Delivery Hero has pushed into the space as well with its Q-Commerce division.

“This [15-minute delivery] is what most of these dark stores are targeting and this is definitely what we will target,” Kabanov said.

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