- The UAE’s latest unicorn Swvl, has agreed to buy Spain-based Shotl, an on-demand shuttle-booking platform according to Reuters.
- The acquisition comes after Swvl’s announcement that it would list on the NASDAQ in a SPAC deal with US-based Queen's Gambit Growth Capital.
- The Egypt-founded transportation startup also announced it is considering listing on the Egyptian Exchange.
- Founded in 2017 by Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh, Swvl enables users to book rides on buses at a fixed rate. It now operates in 10 cities across seven countries and plans to expand to 30 cities in 20 countries, including southern and western Europe, Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia by 2025.
Dubai-based transport startup Swvl has agreed to buy Shotl, an Uber-like service for bus and van operators that caters to municipalities, corporations and educational institutions, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Founded in Egypt in 2017, Swvl also operates a digital platform that allows passengers to reserve and pay for rides with bus operators along fixed routes.
The source, who refused to be identified because the talks are not public yet, did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. The deal is the latest in the transport technology sector globally as companies look to add heft or raise money through public listings.
Grab, Southeast Asia’s biggest ride hailing-to-food delivery group, is gearing to go public through a merger worth nearly $40 billion with a blank check firm. Chinese ride hailing company Didi Global Inc also raised $4.4 billion in its U.S. initial public offering in June.
Swvl last month agreed to merge with blank check firm Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital, setting the stage for a Nasdaq listing in the fourth quarter of this year. The company currently operates in 10 cities in six countries and makes more than 3 million trips a month, a number it aims to increase to 2 million a day by 2025.
Barcelona-based Shotl will serve as Swvl’s hub in Europe and more than double the company’s geographic footprint, according to the source. Shotl operates in 22 cities across 10 countries, including Brazil and Japan.
The deal also provides Swvl with an entry point into autonomous driving projects, primarily through Shotl’s participation in a project led by the European Commission to demonstrate the impact of self-driving minibuses on the future public transport networks.
Swvl expects to turn its first profit in 2024, its chief financial officer Youssef Salem told Reuters earlier this month.