Egyptian mass transit system startup Swvl has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its Series B round to change the way commuters travel in the MENA region. The startup had raised $8m in April this year.
The round was led by regional venture fund BECO Capital, alongside Africa-based investor DiGAME and global VC fund Silicon Badia. Other investors participating in the round include Raed Ventures, Arzan VC, Sawari Ventures, Oman Technology Fund, Dash Ventures, Esther Dyson, chairman of EDventure Holdings and Emilian Popa.
In a statement Mostafa Kandil, co-founder and CEO of Swvl said, “It is about time we build a multi-billion dollar tech company out of Egypt. With this round we are committed to being more customer centric than ever and to build top class operations. We will also continue developing world class technology that solves the daily struggle of commuting in emerging markets. This round is the biggest round of funding for a tech startup in Egypt and one of the biggest Series B rounds ever raised in the MENA region”.
With the funding, Swvl will continue to solidify its position as a global leader in building tech-enabled public transportation and will start its R&D facility in Berlin, Germany.
Swvl was founded by three young entrepreneurs – Mostafa Kandil, Ahmed Sabbah and Mahmoud Nouh, who have built a strong team with their most recent joiners such as Rafael Coronel, who founded Cabify’s (Uber of Latin America, Spain and Mexico) data science team and previously a Research
Scientist at MIT, Emilian Popa, who was one of the key executives that scaled Rocket Internet in China, South Africa and Russia and Ahmed Eraqi who founded the Egyptian subsideries of regional household names such as Dubizzle and was most recently the Head of Business Development for Air Arabia.
Swvl is helping its users find reliable, affordable and convenient public transport in emerging markets where commuters are torn between two extremes: expensive on-demand ride-hailing services and less than reliable and inconvenient public transportation. This is coupled with a supply-side that operates at low efficiency levels. Swvl comes in to fill in this gap by providing an alternative that is more reliable and convenient than public transportation yet cost competitive.
20 months since inception Swvl has grown impressively from doing tens of bookings a month to hundreds of thousands of rides a month, serving tens of thousands of customers on its network of 200+ routes in Cairo and Alexandria.
Swvl widens access to new commuting solutions and, ultimately, seeks to re-model public transportation in other emerging markets. This year, the company has plans to consolidate its global position and bring the service to more markets that suffer from an inadequate public transportation infrastructure.
Though the exact size of this round is not disclosed, the firm says it is in the tens of millions making it one of the biggest rounds of funding in the MENA region.