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Egyptian Startup Swvl to Enter Europe’s Market via Shotl Acquisition

Egyptian Startup Swvl to Enter Europe’s Market via Shotl Acquisition

Swvl co-founders Mostafa Eissa Kandil (left), Mahmoud Nouh (center) and Ahmed Sabbah (right) next to a Swvl bus (Photo courtesy of Swvl).

Egypt-founded transportation startup has agreed to buy Spain-based Shotl, an on-demand shuttle-booking platform, according to Reuters.

Spain-based Shotl would serve as Swvl’s HQ in Europe, which would help double its geographic footprint as part 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. Shotl operates in 22 cities across 10 countries, including Brazil and Japan.

In addition to expanding to global markets, the deal also allows Swvl to venture into autonomous driving projects, which is through Shotl’s participation in a project led by the European Commission to reveal the impact of self-driving minibuses on the future of public transport networks.

The news comes after it was announced last month that the company plans to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange and go public in a merger with special purpose acquisition company Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital.

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.

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.

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

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