Dubai-based ride-hailing service Careem has invested $500,000 in a seed round in Egyptian bus transportation network Swvl.
Swvl aims to provide affordable public transportation solutions to Egyptians and others in emerging markets. It was founded last March by Mostafa Kandil, Mahmoud Nouh, and Ahmed Sabbah.
Swvl’s users can select pick-up and drop-off locations and track bus movements in real time. Currently, the startup accepts payment via credit card, but following this investment, it is looking to roll out alternative payment options, including wallets and cash on delivery.
Swvl is expecting to service customers across Cairo and Alexandria by the end of this year. It aims to expand outside of Egypt in 2018.
The firm intends to remodel public transportation, not only in Egypt but across the region, said Kandil.
Careem has already made investments in and partnerships with startups in the public transportation sector.
Last summer, it formed a partnership with NEXT Future Transportation as part of its efforts to bring driverless transportation solutions to the region.
NEXT has created a self-driving electric pod that can drive on its own or by attaching itself to other pods to form a chain, bus-like structure.
Established in July 2012, Careem operates in more than 50 cities across 11 countries in the broader Middle East, including North Africa, Turkey, and Pakistan.