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Swvl eyes expansion in Africa, Asia

Monday 16 September 2019 12:17 PM


Egyptian transport technology start-up Swvl will expand into two cities in Pakistan in the next two weeks and begin operations in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos before the end of the year, its chief executive told Reuters.
The firm, which operates buses along fixed routes and allows customers to reserve and pay for them using an app, will also expand into Manila in the first half of next year, its co-founder and CEO Mostafa Kandil told Reuters.

“We will enter Lagos before the end of the year, and our eyes are on Dar es Salaam and Abidjan,” he said. The firm is also planning to launch in other South East Asian markets, he added.

Kandil said the company is seeking to raise more than $100 million in a financing round in the first half of next year, and is targeting a $1 billion valuation in the next five years.

Since its launch in April 2017 Swvl has secured the biggest round of funding for a tech start-up in Egypt.

“We were a company worth about $2 million two years ago and our paid-up capital is now $80 million,” he said.
Kandil said he hoped Swvl would eventually go public, but did not say on which stock exchange. He said he would in the longer term also consider a buyout offer from the likes of ride-hailing giant Uber (UBER.N).

Kandil, 25, said the company has been losing money, but expects to turn a profit in two to three years.

“This year we have entered about seven new cities and next year we are targeting another 10 to 20 new big cities,” Kandil said.