SWVL suspends services in Kenya, lays off 32% workforce in pursuit of profits

KENYA – SWVL has announced it is pausing two of the services it offers in the Kenyan market. These are SWVL daily and SWVL travel.

The daily option is for buses that ply Nairobi city and its suburbs while the travel option is for long-distance travel across the country.

The company which went public last year has had a tough time for a while locally. At first, they had their license suspended by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

This was then sorted out, but after the lock-down period caused by COVID-19 in 2020, things seemingly never picked up.

In light of the global economic downturn, we are pausing our Swvl Daily intra-city rides in Nairobi next Friday the 3rd of June, 2022. And Swvl Travel on Sunday the 30th of May, 2022,” said the company.

As a result of the company’s decision to discontinue operations in Kenya, approximately 100 workers who work directly for it in the nation may be impacted. Swvl collaborates with around 500 bus owners who have joined the company as partners.

The company was operating in the country with three different solutions Swvl Daily, tailored for intra-city rides in Nairobi, Swvl Travel tailored for city-to-city rides, and Swvl Business tailored for business-to-business rides.

In 2020 the company had rolled out a service allowing commuters to use the platform for long-distance travel in Kenya.

The new service offered commuters the opportunity to book and pay for their upcountry trips through the Swvl app to over 12 destinations including Naivasha, Nakuru, Molo, Eldoret, Narok, Bomet, Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Nyeri, Nanyuki, and Machakos.

SWVL however says their other product Swvl Business will continue to operate and cater to corporations, organizations, and private entities.

The company promises the other two services will be back, but there are no timelines given.

Globally, SWVL is also laying off close to 32% of its workforce. This has been seen to be an effort by the company to pursue profits. This is something currently affecting a couple of tech companies due to poorly performing stocks.

In the same vein, SWVL shut down its operations in Pakistan. Swvl stated that it would “pause” daily rides throughout Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Faisalabad on Friday (June 3) “in light of the worldwide economic slump.”

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