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 on the list of cities on Swvl’s mobile app, but it doesn’t have any routes yet, suggesting 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 as director of operations in Jordan and joined Swvl earlier this month.
Jordan is the fourth market for the Cairo-born company that expanded to Kenya and Pakistan last year.
Swvl Business offers employee transportation solutions to businesses. The service has been quietly operating in all of company’s markets for some time. Clients include Samsung, PepsiCo, PwC, and Axa, according to its website.
The service allows employers to create custom routes, stations, and schedules for employees’ commutes. The website has no details about whether employers can offer this service as a perk to employees or subsidize the transportation fees.
The expansion comes at a time when transportation startups around the world have witnessed a steep drop in demand due to COVID-19 lockdowns. At the moment, there’s almost no lockdown in any of the markets where Swvl operates, but the recent increase in COVID-19 cases means it may be some time before demand returns to pre-pandemic levels.
Swvl has been experimenting with other services, including carpooling in Kenya and intercity bus rides in Pakistan. It is also in the process of launching services in other Middle Eastern markets.
The mobility startup raised over USD 20 million in an investment round right before the onset of the pandemic, taking its total raise to more than USD 90 million.
This article was first published by MENAbytes.