E-bus app SWVL was launched back in 2017 by Mostafa Kandil, Mahmoud Nouh and Ahmed Sabbah.
It has since expanded to many other countries in and outside Africa, following its inception in Egypt. At the moment, it is headquartered in Dubai. Its Kenya operations started with a mass following after it managed to appeal to customers with its massively loved promo code campaign.
The pandemic happened, so many people started working from home. As travel restrictions started to ease, the bus company attempted to appeal to a customer base it had already garnered, but things had changed (with reduced chatter on social media platforms).
But that is not all: the company has since introduced long-distance trips for fairly the same amount of bus fare that people would pay using traditional bus services.
It is a model that the company hopes will work, bearing in mind that there is no other e-bus service that ships people in and out of Nairobi.
Other than many investments, the pandemic, and a revision of the manner the company undertakes its operations, SWVL is planning to go public through a merger with Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital.
The Capital is entirely led by women.
The development with Queen’s Gambit has estimated SWVL’s value at $1.5 billion. This will make the mass transit service the largest Middle East-based startup to star at Nasdaq. The merger has been confirmed but has not been completed. The completion date has not been given too.
It has also been revealed that the firm will trade as SWVL. Currently, SWVL runs its operations in 10 cities in Africa and the Middle East.
Of course, it plans to expand to additional markets; that is, 20 countries across five continents by 2025. Furthermore, SWVL has since reported that it netted $20 million in revenue in 2020. Note that the company did not disclose its net income or loss.
It projects that 2021’s earnings will be slightly under $80 million; $1 billion by 2025. Since it was launched in 2017, SWVL, 1.4 million people have booked rides with the app. The company has also completed more than 46 million rides.
Since launch, SWVL has raised over $170 million, making it one of the most backed startups that first launched in Africa.