Cairo-based transportation startup Swvl has been witnessing fourfold growth in signups since the launch of Uber Bus in Cairo, company’s CEO Mostafa Kandil claimed in an interview with the Business Insider. Mostafa made the claim speaking about competition with Uber and Careem. He suggested that unlike US, the transportation needs in Cairo and some other similar markets cannot be addressed by one or two transportation companies.
“You see the same problem across emerging markets, whether it’s Manila, Nairobi or Jakarta. One single player is not enough to build the network. We like to see ourselves as building a profitable mass transit system from scratch in emerging markets and taking it off governments’ hands,” he explained in his conversation with the American publication.
Both Uber and Careem had launched their Swvl-like bus service in Cairo during the first week of December last year. For Uber Bus’ launch, Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi had flown to Cairo and was also joined by Egypt’s Investment Minister Sahar Nasar at the launch ceremony. The story was covered by many leading international media outlets and almost the entire media in Egypt.
At the time, Uber CEO had said that the company had started Uber Bus from Egypt because is among their top ten markets in terms of trips on global basis and the largest market in the Middle East.
Even though Swvl is already fairly popular in the country but the entry of big names like Uber and Careem seems to have helped in creating more market awareness for tech-enabled bus transportation services and that could be one of the reasons for increased signups.