Careem has bought a minority stake in Egyptian startup Swvl that was co-founded only three months ago by Mostafa Kandil, a former Careem Market Launcher who had quit his job with Careem in February to launch his own startup fulfilling its mission to build an institution for the region.
The investment, $500k in seed funding, will be used to help Swvl expand into new cities and markets as well as roll out new product features within its app, including new payment options. In addition to the investment, Careem’s Chief Experience Officer and Co-founder, Magnus Olsson, will be joining Swvl’s Board of Directors.
Founded in March 2017 by Kandil and his two co-founders, Mahmoud Nouh and Ahmed Sabbah, Swvl’s mission is to provide affordable, reliable and convenient public transportation to the people of Egypt and other emerging markets. Swvl users simply choose their exact pick-up and drop-off location and track bus movement so they know exactly what time it will arrive.
Currently having 50,000 users, Swvl aims to have 300,000 trips by the end of current year. The startup has not disclosed details about the no. of trips they have right now.
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Currently, Swvl accepts payment via credit card, but with this latest investment from Careem, the company is planning to roll out four additional payment options over the next few months, including wallets, cash on delivery and more.
Swvl Future Plans with Careem:
In terms of expansion, the company expects to be available in all of Cairo by the end of this year and also plans to launch operations in Alexandria. In 2018, the company expects to expand beyond Egypt to other emerging markets in the Middle East and North Africa.
Swvl plans to use this investment to recruit more people, improve their application by introducing new features and expand to more more areas of Cairo, other Egyptian cities including Alexandria and some other Middle Eastern & Asian countries including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan next year.
This is the first time Careem has invested in any other startup to acquire a stake. Working at Careem seems to have helped Mostafa Kondil in scoring this investment.