Egypt-based Swvl raises $8m in se­ries A fund­ing

The Daily News Egypt - - BUSINESS - By Mo­hamed Alaa El-Din

Swvl, the Egyp­tian app-based mass tran­sit ap­pli­ca­tion, an­nounced an $8m se­ries A that was led by re­gional ven­ture fund BECO Cap­i­tal, Africabased in­vestor DiGAME, and ven­ture cap­i­tal (VC) firm Sil­i­con Ba­dia. Other VC firms, Raed Ven­tures, Arzan VC, and Oman Tech­nol­ogy Fund, and the chair­per­son of EDven­ture Hold­ings, Es­ther Dyson, also par­tic­i­pated in the round. The round in­cluded primary and sec­ondary fund­ing.

“The $8m round is the big­gest round of fund­ing for a tech startup in Egypt and one of the big­gest rounds in the Mid­dle East,” said Mostafa Kandil, co-founder and CEO of Swvl.“With the fund­ing, Swvl will so­lid­ify its po­si­tion in Egypt and es­tab­lish the com­pany as a global leader in the af­ford­able smart mo­bil­ity space, of­fer­ing fixed routes for a fixed flat fare at prices that are up to 80% cheaper than on­de­mand ride-hail­ing ser­vices.”

Forbes Mid­dle East ranked Swvl 15th out of 50 star­tups to watch in the Arab world.

Mah­moud Nouh and Ahmed Sab­bah, co-founders of Swvl, also re­vealed that the com­pany is plan­ning a ma­jor ex­pan­sion over the com­ing years.“Swvl in­tends to in­vest $16.9m (EGP 300m) in the lo­cal market in the next three years to em­power as many mi­croen­trepreneurs as pos­si­ble in Egypt and the re­gion and to be­come one of the big­gest job cre­ators in the coun­try,” the com­pany said.

Swvl plans to ex­pand be­yond Egypt to other emerg­ing mar­kets across the Mid­dle East, South East Asia, and Africa re­gions dur­ing 2018.

Kandil said that Es­ther Dyson will be join­ing Swvl’s board of direc­tors, on be­half of DiGAME, along with Dany Farha, CEO & co-founder of BECO Cap­i­tal and the co-founder of Bayt.com. Dyson was pre­vi­ously on the board of Yan­dex, which re­cently formed a joint ven­ture with Uber Rus­sia.

Swvl has been ex­tremely pop­u­lar in its home market of Egypt, where it pro­vides com­muters a smart al­ter­na­tive that al­lows them to share buses on de­mand to beat the coun­try’s traf­fic snarls.The com­pany op­er­ates hundreds of buses along 200 routes in Cairo and Alexan­dria.

Cus­tomers are a mix of univer­sity stu­dents and cor­po­rate em­ploy­ees with a ma­jor­ity of them be­ing women who want to avoid ha­rass­ment on pub­lic trans­porta­tion.

Swvl plans to ex­pand be­yond Egypt

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