Dubai’s Careem funds Egypt’s bus transport start-up

$500,000 investment will help Swvl expand, add new services
Dubai’s Careem funds Egypt’s bus transport start-up
By Parag Deulgaonkar
Mon 17 Jul 2017 11:41 AM

Dubai-based taxi hailing app Careem on Monday said it has invested $5000,000 (AED1.835 million) in Swvl, Egypt’s bus transportation network.

The seed funding will help the Cairo-based startup to expand its network into more Egyptian cities and regional markets.

In July 2016, Careem invested $100m (AED367m) in setting up research and development centres in Germany and Egypt to accelerate innovation in transportation-related technology infrastructure.

Following the investment, Swvl, which currently accepts payment via credit card, will unveil four new payment options over the next few months, which includes wallets and cash on delivery.

The startup will also expand its reach across Cairo by year-end and launch operations in Alexandria. In 2018, it expects to expand beyond Egypt to other emerging markets in the Middle East and North Africa.

“Swvl and Careem share a similar mission in that we both wish to solve the transportation challenges facing the MENASA region,” said Careem’s chief experience officer and co-founder, Magnus Olsson. He will also be part of Swvl’s board of directors.

Founded in March 2017 by Mostafa Kandil, a former Careem market launcher, and his two co-founders, Mahmoud Nouh and Ahmed Sabbah, Swvl provides affordable public transportation to Egyptians and other emerging markets.

Swvl users can choose their exact pick-up and drop-off location and track bus movements.

Currently, the company, which accepts payment via credit card, will roll out four additional payment options over the next few months, which includes wallets and cash on delivery.

The company will expand its reach across Cairo and expand into Alexandria by year-end. In 2018, it expects to move beyond Egypt to emerging markets in the Middle East and North Africa.

“With Swvl, we intend to fully re-engineer and re-model public transportation, not only in Egypt, but across the region,” said Kandil, chief hustler, Swvl, said.

“Careem’s investment will enable us to achieve this goal, and at the same time, the company’s local knowledge will be invaluable to us as we continue to build out our offerings,” he added.

Last week, US-based Uber agreed to combine its ride-sharing business in Russia and five countries in Eastern Europe with Yandex, a Moscow-based ride sharing company.

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