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Egyptian Startup Swvl Becomes First Middle East US$1.5bn Unicorn to List on Nasdaq

Egyptian Startup Swvl Becomes First Middle East US$1.5bn Unicorn to List on Nasdaq

Image courtesy of Swvl Facebook page.

Egyptian ride-sharing company Swvl announced plans to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange and go public in a merger with special purpose acquisition company Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital, Swvl announced on Tuesday 27 July.

This makes Swvl the first Middle East $USD 1.5 billion ‘unicorn’ to list on Nasdaq US and the largest African unicorn debut on any U.S.-listed exchange, beating Jumia’s debut of $1.1 billion on the NYSE, Tech Crunch reports.

The funds will be used to fund expansion and acceleration of the company’s strategy to expand to 20 countries by 2025, with a goal of driving more than $1 billion of annual gross revenue.

Swvl operates buses along fixed routes using an app in 10 countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Kenya, and Pakistan.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, wrote a tweet expressing his pride for entrepreneur Mostafa Kandil who founded Swvl.

“Dubai-headquartered Swvl is the first Middle East $1.5 billion unicorn to list on Nasdaq US, founded by Mostafa Kandil, 28-year-old entrepreneur. Dubai’s impact on the global start-up scene shows the vision and spirit of the region’s youth in shaping tomorrow’s businesses,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

Founded by Mostafa Kandil, Mahmoud Nouh and Ahmed Sabbah in 2017, the three friends started the company as a bus-hailing service in Egypt to fix the problem of transportation, as well as other ride-sharing services in emerging markets.

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