Bus-hailing company Swvl to lay off 32% of workforce to become ‘profitable’

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Jun 2022

Egyptian bus-hailing app Swvl announced on Monday plans to reduce its workforce by 32 percent in a number of countries as part of its plan to become profitable by 2023.

Swvl co-founders Mostafa Eissa Kandil (left), Mahmoud Nouh (center) and Ahmed Sabbah (right) next to
Swvl co-founders Mostafa Eissa Kandil (left), Mahmoud Nouh (center) and Ahmed Sabbah (right) next to a Swvl bus (Photo courtesy of Swvl).


“Such reductions will focus on roles automated by investments in the company’s engineering and product and support functions,” the Dubai-based tech company clarified in a press release on its portfolio optimisation programme.

It added that it plans to provide monetary, non-monetary, and job placement support to help transition some of its employees to new roles.

Swvl operates a digital platform that allows users to book rides with bus operators along fixed routes. 

The company was founded in 2017 in Egypt as a start-up and subsequently moved its headquarters to Dubai as part of its global expansion plan.

“Declining stock markets have led to a global crisis with unforeseen consequences. Over the past few weeks, Swvl has been hit like others across the globe with changes to its financial realities,” Swvl Founder and CEO Mostafa Kandil said in a letter sent to the company’s employees and partners

To become cash-flow positive in 2023, Swvl says it is implementing a portfolio optimisation programme to focus on enhancing efficiency, reducing central costs, and capitalising on the highest profitability operations it currently has from Transport as a Service (TaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses.

The programme will also include continuation and organic and inorganic growth of TaaS and SaaS businesses across all geographies of operations, including Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Kenya, and Pakistan.

It will also focus on its Business to consumer (B2C) businesses in Egypt and Pakistan, which are currently the company’s highest B2C revenue contribution and profitability markets.

The recently closed acquisitions of TaaS and SaaS businesses Viapool, Volt Lines, and Shotl, and the pending acquisition of door2door contribute to this growth, the company said.

In April, Swvl began trading on the NASDAQ exchange in New York after its previously announced merger with New York-based Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital — a deal that valued Swvl at $1.5 billion.

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