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Egypt’s Swvl expands in Europe with acquisition of Turkey’s Volt Lines

EGYPT – Egypt-based ride-sharing start-up, Swvl has agreed to acquire the Turkish transportation-as-a-service mobility business Volt Lines, as it expands further in Europe.

The acquisition, which will see Volt Lines’ team hired by Swvl, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.

The deal, valued at around US$40 million, gives Swvl access both to Volt Lines’ tech as well as its over 110 corporate client contracts.

The acquisition will help Swvl build out its corporate offerings while also getting a foothold in Turkey so it can expand its B2C service, as well as adjacent transportation solutions including schools and factories.

We are confident our solutions will meaningfully contribute to the Swvl platform, and together we will be able to deliver superior transportation alternatives for commuters around the world,” said Volt Lines Founder and CEO Ali Halabi.

We’re also excited about scaling our R&D center in Istanbul into a global technology hub, giving Swvl reliable access to Turkey’s technical talent.”

Swvl’s primary business model involves repurposing underutilized, privately owned buses or minivans for different purposes throughout the day.

The platform utilizes these vehicles for shuttling intercity commuters along fixed routes, providing rides between cities, and driving corporate employees to work or meetings.

Meanwhile, Volt provides corporate clients, like ICBC, MetLife, and Axa Insurance, and their employees with a cost-effective alternative to public transportation or ride-hailing via its own network of smart routed shared buses.

The company has committed to running 100% of its network on electric buses powered by renewable energy by 2030.

Swvl, which joined the public markets through a special purpose acquisition merger about a month ago, said its purchase of Volt Lines would add an incremental US$4.3 million of annualized revenue to its balance sheet.

Volt Lines is Swvl’s fourth acquisition since August that has helped the company expand both its product and its geographic markets beyond UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kenya, and Pakistan.

Last year Swvl acquired another mass transit platform, Viapool, to expand into Argentina and Chile, as well as Spain-based Shotl, an on-demand shuttle booking platform, which allowed the company to enter Europe.

More recently, Swvl announced its intention to buy Berlin-based mobility startup Door2door. The company says it now operates in 115 cities across 18 countries and four continents.

According to Swvl CEO, Mostafa Kandil, the company intends to operate in 20 countries on five continents, including North America, by 2025.

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