Sheikh Mohammed congratulates UAE based tech startup for being the first Middle East unicorn to list on Nasdaq US

Transportation company Swvl is going public through a merger with Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, congratulated young Arab entrepreneur Mostafa Kandil whose brilliant vision led him to establish a $1.5 billion green-focussed mass transport company in Dubai.

“Dubai-headquartered Swvl is the first Middle East $1.5 billion unicorn to list on Nasdaq US, founded by Mostafa Kandil, 28-year-old entrepreneur. Dubai’s impact on the global start-up scene shows the vision and spirit of the region’s youth in shaping tomorrow’s businesses,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

The transportation company Swvl is going public through a merger with Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital. Founded in 2017, Swvl provides ridesharing services in emerging markets that don’t always have reliable public transportation.

The company’s proprietary algorithm identifies the most efficient and cost-effective routes, thereby reducing emissions while lowering costs for riders.

Earlier in the day, the Wall Street Journal reported about the deal being in the final stages. The mobility company is merging with Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital, a SPAC [special purposse acquistion company] created earlier this year by a team of female executives (which claims to be the first women-led SPAC). Its CEO Victoria Grace is the founder of New York-based VC fund Colle Capital.

The two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination that would result in Swvl becoming a publicly listed company on NASDAQ after the completion of the proposed transaction, noted the statement adding that the company will trade under the ticker symbol ‘SWVL’.

Swvl will be the second Middle Eastern company to take the SPAC route to public markets.

The UAE based global tech startup, Swvl

Swvl, is a global tech startup that provides a semi-private alternative to public transportation for individuals who cannot afford or access private options.

The company has built a parallel mass transit system offering intercity, intracity, B2B and B2G transportation in 10 megacities across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Swvl’s tech-enabled offerings make mobility safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly, while still ensuring that it is accessible and affordable for everyone.

Customers can book their rides on an easy-to-use app with varied payment options and access high-quality private buses and vans that operate according to fixed routes, stations, times, and prices.

Swvl was co-founded by Kandil, who began his career at Rocket Internet, where he launched the car sales platform Carmudi in the Philippines, which became the largest car classifieds company in the country in just six months. He then served as Rocket Internet’s Head of Operations.

In 2016, Kandil joined Careem, a ride-sharing company and the first unicorn in the Middle East. He supported the platform’s expansion into multiple new markets. Careem is now a subsidiary of Uber, based in Dubai, with operations across 100 cities and 15 countries.

“Mass transit systems in cities around the world are riddled with deficiencies, resulting in congestion, environmental concerns and reduced productivity. To address these problems, we founded Swvl with a simple but ambitious goal – to empower all people to go where they want to, when they want to, and to feel comfortable doing it,” said Kandil.