London-based smart bus platform Zeelo acquired by Dubai’s Swvl: Know more here

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Swvl Holdings, a company offering an app that allows customers to book fixed-rate rides on buses and vans in their network, announced that it has acquired Zeelo, a UK-based smart bus platform that provides flexible turn-key, plug-in and SaaS transportation programmes for organisations.

The acquisition of Zeelo builds upon Swvl’s recent acquisitions of Viapool, Shotl, Volt Lines, and door2door, and provides a launchpad to land and expand business operations in three strategic developed markets, including the UK, South Africa, and the US.

The deal is expected to be completed in May, 2022.

About Zeelo

Founded in 2016 by Sam Ryan, Barney Williams and Dani Ruiz, Zeelo is a smart bus platform for organisations that claims to be modernising daily bus commutes for frontline workers and students to help them get to work and school in a faster, smarter, and much greener way.

Zeelo serves large businesses and independent schools, and moves nearly 150,000 riders each month across the world. The company claims that its tech-optimised bus routes not only reduce carbon emissions by 78 per cent by replacing 30 cars for every bus journey, but also offset 100 per cent of each Zeelo bus journey.

The company’s transport management software system comprises a SaaS platform, proprietary routing algorithms, multiple consumer apps, which leverage smart GPS route optimisation and ride-sharing software, and 24/7 customer service support to ensure people located in transport deserts have a regular, subsidised and sustainable bus service for their daily commute.

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Currently, the company has over 160 employees, a R&D team in Spain and is operational in the UK, South Africa and the US. 

Zeelo closed its Series A in 2018 and has achieved almost $20M in VC backed investment from ETF Partners, InMotion Ventures and Dynamo. The co-founders previously sold their ride-sharing app JumpIn to Addison Lee in 2014.

Aim of this acquisition

In alignment with Swvl’s mission, Zeelo has a commitment to drive the shift from single-occupancy vehicles to zero-emission mass transit and deploy transportation services to connect more people to work and educational opportunities.

Mostafa Kandil, Swvl founder and CEO, says, “Swvl was founded on the belief that accessible transportation is essential to unlocking economic opportunity. Swvl and Zeelo share a vision and mission to provide reliable transportation that gets riders where they need to go in an affordable, safe, and environmentally-friendly manner. With an impressive suite of turnkey TaaS and SaaS solutions and an established footprint in the UK, South Africa, and the US, Zeelo rapidly advances our leading market position as a provider of technology-enabled mass transit solutions on a global scale.”

This deal provides Swvl enhanced scale, strengthens its capabilities, and creates substantial value for shareholders. It also offers a suite of B2B mobility solutions with the ability to reduce overall costs for organisations. The deal will help Swvl in leading a fully managed TaaS platform that connects riders via their employers and schools to operators and drivers.

Some of the deal’s highlights also include SaaS licensing platform that enables third-party fleet operators to manage their own programmes; an asset light-delivery model by partnering with existing fleet partners, including over 200 bus operators in the UK and the US; provides access to a blue-chip enterprise customer base; contracts established with major employers and schools across more than 100 sites; and expanding customer deployments with multi-site customers already in place.

Sam Ryan, Zeelo founder and CEO, says, “Swvl is revolutionising the mass transit industry and we are thrilled to join forces with them on this next phase of Zeelo’s journey to firmly establish smart bus transport as the best-in-class shared mobility solution that takes account of all income levels and the needs of ordinary, every-day travellers. Bus transport done well with tech can take us beyond our dependency on cars and taxis which are not suitable for commutes from non-urban areas.”

Ryan adds, “We look forward to bringing Swvl insights from Zeelo’s strategic pivot during the global pandemic and we’ve been impressed by Swvl’s fast growth in challenging markets. We are excited to leverage their global experience as we embark on a shared journey to develop safe, affordable, and low emission mass transportation options, and expand economic opportunity for the people who need it most through our mobility solution. Especially shift workers, professionals and students living in transport-poor areas in the developed markets.”

Tech-driven, affordable, and convenient transportation service

Founded in 2017 by Ahmed Sabbah and Mostafa Kandil, Swvl is a provider of transformative tech-enabled mass transit solutions, offering intercity, intracity, B2B, and B2G transportation across more than 115 cities in 20 countries and four continents. 

The company’s platform provides semi-private alternatives to public transportation for individuals who cannot access or afford private options. Customers can book their rides on the company’s app with varied payment options and 24/7 access to private buses and vans.

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Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh is a News Reporter and Social Media Marketing Lead at Silicon Canals. He covers developments in the European startup ecosystem and oversees the publication's social media presence. Before joining Silicon Canals, Vishal gained experience at the Indian digital media outlet Inc42, contributing to its growth with insightful content. Despite being a college dropout, his passion for writing has driven his career in journalism.

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