Having ensured a formidable growth rate on its home turf despite cut throat competition, Cairo-based transportation startup Swvl is headed towards yet another milestone. According to new reports, the startup is preparing to expand to Nigeria with operations scheduled to kick off in Lagos by mid-July.
In a conversation with MENAbytes, a Swvl representative confirmed that initially the company’s Lago fleet will comprise of 50 buses. The purported plans to expand to Nigeria came into the spotlight last week after the company announced the role of its new Country General Manager for the West African nation.
Founded in 2017 by ex-Careem employee Mostafa Kandil along with co-founders Mahmoud Nouh and Ahmed Sabbah, Swvl enables commuters to reserve seats in private buses using a mobile app. The company is currently operating in Egypt (Cairo, Alexandria) and Kenya (Nairobi). It recently claimed that tens of thousands of bookings have been done on its platform so far across these three cities.
While Swvl happens to be one of the first-of-its-kind platforms in the region, the market is far more competitive today as compared to when it first launched a couple of years back. Uber and Careem — the two heavyweights that dominate the ride-hailing market in the region — have started offering similar services.
Despite the growing challenges, Swvl seems to be doing pretty fine on its own. In fact, the company’s CEO, Mostafa Kandil, recently stated that there was a 400% increase in new user signups after the launch of Uber Bus in Cairo.