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MENA-Based Ride Sharing App SWVL Suspends Acquisition of UK's Zeelo

After securing the $100 million acquisition of UK-based Zeelo in April 2022, MENA-based ride sharing platform SWVL has agreed to suspend the move on account of financial market volatility.

Startup Scene

MENA-Based Ride Sharing App SWVL Suspends Acquisition of UK's Zeelo

MENA-based ride sharing platform SWVL has announced the suspension of their proposed acquisition of Zeelo, a UK-based smart bus SaaS startup. The deal was initially made in April 2022, and is estimated to be worth $100 million.

The decision was mutually agreed upon by both parties, according to Zeelo. Although all pre-completion obligations had been met, Zeelo cites financial market volatility as the reason behind the cancellation.

Since its founding in 2017, SWVL has been expanding aggressively across global markets. In 2021, it acquired Shotl, a Spain-based ride sharing app, and Viapool, an Argentina-based ride hailing platform. The startup continued its acquisitions throughout 2022 with door2door, a Germany-based public transport company; Volt Lines, Turkey’s subscription-based bus sharing platform; and Urbvan, a Mexico-based shared mobility startup.

On March 31st, 2022, SWVL made its debut on Nasdaq. Two months later, however, it laid off 30% of its employees. More recently, it suspended its intra-city rides in Kenya, Pakistan and a number of routes in Egypt.

The global ride sharing market was worth $76.48 billion in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted demand for ride sharing across all regions. There was a global decline of -16.3% in 2020, but it is projected to rebound to reach $242.73 billion in 2028, with a CAGR of 16.3% between 2021 and 2028, according to research from Fortune Business Insights.