Egyptian Swvl challenges Uber by raising $42 Million Series C for African expansion

SOURCE: Bloomberg - Egyptian Rival to Uber Raises $42 Million for African Expansion

Swvl, the Egyptian bus transportation startup, today announced that it raised $42 million as it looks to expand into other parts of Africa, including Nigeria. The fundraise comes just months after the company has raised both its $8M Series A and $30M Series B funding rounds in 2018, the latter of which was closed in November 2018.

The two-year-old company, which started in Cairo and also operates in Alexandria and Nairobi in Kenya, got the Series C funding from venture capital firms including Dubai-based BECO Capital, Oman's otf Jasoor Ventures, Sawari Ventures, DASH Ventures, China’s MSA, Vostok New Venturesand Endeavor Catalyst, based in New York, among others.

“The plan is to be in at least two or three more African cities by the end of the year,’’ Mostafa Kandil, the founder and chief executive officer, said by phone from Cairo. “Lagos, Nigeria, is most likely the next market.’’

Swvl carries hundreds of thousands of customers each month, according to Kandil, an engineering graduate who once worked for Careem, a Middle Eastern-focused transport firm that Uber is acquiring.

Uber and Careem have both launched bus services in Cairo in the past year. Along with Swvl, they’re exploiting growing demand among the city’s 20 million people for transport options that are cheaper than taxis but more convenient than public buses, which are often perceived as unreliable and dangerous.