Middle East

Egyptian transport start-up Swvl sees profit by 2024

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A man uses Swvl application on a mobile phone in Cairo, Egypt November 6, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

  • Swvl plans to list on Nasdaq in fourth quarter
  • Expects to operate in Europe, Asia, LatAm by 2025
  • Projects $170 mln in profits by 2025
  • Looks to expand in logistics, advertising, financial services

CAIRO, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Transport start-up Swvl, based in Dubai and Cairo, expects to turn its first profit in 2024 as it expands into new countries, its chief financial officer Youssef Salem said on Thursday.

Swvl last month announced a merger with U.S.-based Queen's Gambit Growth Capital (GMBT.O) that will allow the company to list on the U.S. Nasdaq stock exchange.

Founded in Egypt in 2017, Swvl operates a digital platform that allows passengers to reserve and pay for rides with participating buses along fixed routes.

It now operates in 10 cities in six countries and makes more than 3 million trips a month, a number it aims to increase to 2 million a day by 2025.

"Swvl will turn profitable in 2024 after investments and operating costs of about $13 million. We then aim to earn more than $170 million in 2025," Salem told Reuters.

Swvl's administrative offices are in Dubai and its main operations in Cairo.

Its capital of more than $100 million will increase to $550 million after it completes a merger with Queen's Gambit by the end of the year.

It plans to list on Nasdaq in the fourth quarter of 2021 and is studying a possible listing on the Egyptian Exchange in 2022/23.

The company aims to expand to 30 cities in 20 countries by 2025, including in southern and western Europe, Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, Salem said.

It will expand into other activities such as logistics, advertising and financial services beginning in 2023, he added.

This should help to increase Swvl's revenue to $800 million in 2024 from a projected $79 million this year and $26 million in 2020 and $100,000 in 2017. It expects revenue to exceed $1 billion in 2025.

The company has 600 employees, 400 of whom are in Egypt, and a network of 5,000 buses, 3,000 of which are in Egypt.

Writing by Patrick Werr and Mahmoud Mourad; editing by Jane Merriman and David Evans

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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