The Estonian startup Bolt will launch a new service in the Czech Republic. Bolt Market plans to open a network of dark stores located in Prague, allowing it to make deliveries in as little as 15 minutes.
“We are going to launch it in the coming months not only in the Czech Republic but also in other Central European countries,” said Jakub Dvořák, the company’s country manager.
“We will have several warehouses located in the city and we will use the current courier network to be able to deliver it within 15 minutes from the moment you click the order button. We see that there is a great demand for this service not only in the Czech Republic but in the world,” he adds.
This could be a problem for the new service, as the entire segment has experienced a shortage of drivers in recent months, leading to higher prices.
Bolt Market will focus mainly on groceries and basic hygiene needs, “but we do not want to compete with other services on the market, such as Košík or Rohlík, but precisely with speed.
In an interview with Forbes, Bolt’s chief product officer Jevgeni Kabanov said that moving into dark stores comes as a part of a “larger strategy” around Bolt’s food vertical.
Numerous online groceries have emerged in the past year with a similar “15 to 30-minutes delivery” business model if we take a glance.
“This [15-minute delivery] is what most of these dark stores are targeting and this is definitely what we will target,” Kabanov said.
Founded in 2013, by Markus Villig, Bolt is currently the biggest player on the micro-mobility market in Europe and Africa.
It offers ride-hailing and micro-mobility (with e-scooters and electric bicycles), plus food and parcel delivery, and has over 50 million customers in 200 cities in 40 countries.