Dubai-headquartered mass transportation startup Swvl has announced its expansion to Jordan. It is entering the market with the launch of its offering for businesses. Swvl’s core product, the bus hailing service for consumers is not live in the country yet.
Amman is now in the list of cities on Swvl’s mobile app but it doesn’t have any routes (lines) yet – which suggests that the company may launch its consumer services in the city soon. A former Careem executive Kareem Zinaty is leading the company in Jordan. He was previously with Careem serving them as Director of Operations in Jordan and joined Swvl earlier this month.
Swvl Business offers employee transportation solutions to businesses. The service has been quietly operating in all of company’s markets for quite some time and according to its website has clients like Samsung, PepsiCo, PwC, and Axa, using it.
The service allows employers to create custom routes, stations, and schedules, to help their employees with commuting. The website has no details about whether employers can offer this service as a perk to their employees or share the price with them (to subsidize the transportation) but it would be safe to assume that Swvl offers flexible options around this.
The expansion comes at a time when transportation startups all around the world have been witnessing a big drop in demand due to Covid-19 lockdowns. There’s almost no lockdown in any of the markets where Swvl operates anymore but the recent increase in Covid-19 cases (as a result of the second wave of the pandemic) means that the company will have to wait further before it can see the demand go back to pre-Covid-19 levels.
Swvl has been quietly experimenting with a few other things as well including carpooling in Kenya and intercity bus rides in Pakistan. It is apparently also in the process of launching its services in some other Middle Eastern markets.
The mobility startup had raised over $20 million in an investment round right before Covid-19 (that it never announced publicly) taking its total raise to over $90 million.
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