Cairo-based transportation start-up has announced it is pumping KES. 1.5 Billion to its Kenyan outfit in an effort to scale its local operations. This comes weeks after the startup closed $42 million Series B-2 funding led by BECO Capital and Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures. This funding increased the startup’s valuation to $150 Million making it not only one of the best funded startups in the region, but also one of the highest valued.
Co-founded by Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahoud Nouh, SWVL launched back in 2017. It allows riders to hail buses operating on fixed routes and timings from their mobile phones. Currently the service is only available in Egypt (Cairo and Alexandria), Kenya (Nairobi) and Pakistan (Lahore).
I use the service, and I wrote about my experience. Check it out.
The company has been in a pilot phase since launch, and this announcement is like them officially starting operations in Kenya. Recently, the company announced a partnership with BRCK for WiFi in the buses, and also said they’ll soon launch a dynamic pricing system that should hopefully see them get more customers.
SWVL co-founder and CEO, Mostafa Kandil made the announcement when speaking at a press briefing in Nairobi. “Kenya is a market with a need for a stable solution for the perennial traffic snarl ups and SWVL believes that we can be of great benefit to the local consumer and the transport sector as a whole,” said Mr. Kandil. “We are very excited to provide a solution that makes the lives of Kenyans easier whilst proving beneficial to the Kenyan transport sector.”
In addition to the funding, the startup also announced that they will be adding more routes to their offering.
“I believe the potential for growth and value creation is tremendous and given the different entities providing varied solutions, we are looking to fill a gap that has yet to be sufficiently covered by what is already available. That is what has prompted us to expand our route offering to match the convenience of ride-hailing services but at the same time matching the capacity provided by the traditional matatu industry for an even larger customer base than we have before“, said Shivachi Muleji, SWVL General Manager for Kenya