Egyptian ride-sharing bus service, SWVL, pumps $15 million into its Kenyan operation as it moves to end perennial traffic snarl-ups

One of SWVL's buses in Nairobi. (courtesy)
  • On Thursday, SWVL Co-founder and CEO, Mostafa Kandil made the announcement at a press briefing in Nairobi.
  • The cash injection will go into improving its current operations and expansion into other towns and routes.
  • In June, the Cairo-based transportation startup raised Sh4.2billion ($42 million) Series B-2 funding from Sweden’s Vostok, Dubai-based BECO Capital, China’s MSA and Endeavor Catalyst, based in New York.

Egyptian ride-sharing bus service, SWVL, has announced plans to inject Sh1.5 billion ($15 million) cash into its Kenyan operations.

On Thursday, SWVL Co-founder and CEO, Mostafa Kandil made the announcement at a press briefing in Nairobi.

“Kenya is a market with a need for a stable solution for the perennial traffic snarl-ups and SWVL believes that we can be of great benefit to the local consumer and the transport sector as a whole,” said Kandil.

The cash injection will go into improving its current operations and expansion into other towns and routes.

“We are very excited to provide a solution that makes the lives of Kenyans easier whilst proving beneficial to the Kenyan transport sector,” he added.

The journey is just starting for SWVL in Kenya

SWVL entered the Kenyan market in February 2019 with four routes and has over the last six months since increased to fifty-five routes.

Going forward, the startup also announced it would be adding more routes outside the capital city.

“I believe the potential for growth and value creation is tremendous and given the different entities providing varied solutions, we are looking to fill a gap that has yet to be sufficiently covered by what is already available. That is what has prompted us to expand our route offering to match the convenience of ride-hailing services but at the same time matching the capacity provided by the traditional matatu industry for an even larger customer base than we have before,” said Shivachi Muleji, SWVL General Manager for Kenya.

In June, the Cairo-based transportation startup raised Sh4.2 billion ($42 million) Series B-2 funding from Sweden’s Vostok, Dubai-based BECO Capital, China’s MSA and Endeavor Catalyst, based in New York.

This increased the start-up’s valuation to $150 million and comes almost seven months after it was valued at around $100 million after the last round of fund raising. This makes it among the best funded start-ups in the region.

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