KENYA – Egyptian ride hailing firm, SWVL has unveiled plans of investing US$15 million in improving its current operations and scaling up the business into new routes across Kenya.

The firm which entered the country in January this year with four routes on a pilot basis, has so far built a network of 150 buses running along 55 routes with numerous pick-up and drop-off points.

The move to increase their investment and the routes they operate in is seen as a step further to consolidating its presence in the market ahead of other rivals in the sector including Uber and Little Cab.

SWVL co-founder and CEO, Mostafa Kandil said: “Kenya is a market with a need for a stable solution for the perennial traffic snarl ups and SWVL believes that we can be of great benefit to the local consumer and the transport sector as a whole,”

“We are very excited to provide a solution that makes the lives of Kenyans easier whilst proving beneficial to the Kenyan transport sector,” he added.

“There is a big opportunity in Nairobi for us to create a mass transit system for the middle class and the $15 million investment will go into setting up the infrastructure and networks to make it happen,”.

The service allows users to book scheduled rides via its mobile app for $2 per trip and targets consumers who want a more orderly commute than the conventional matatu ride while paying less than for a taxi.

SWVL General Manager for Kenya, Shivachi Muleji, added, “I believe the potential for growth and value creation is tremendous and given the different entities providing varied solutions, we are looking to fill a gap that has yet to be sufficiently covered by what is already available.”

“That is what has prompted us to expand our route offering to match the convenience of ride-hailing services but at the same time matching the capacity provided by the traditional matatu industry for an even larger customer base than we have before”

“We see this as a win-win for us as SWVL and for Kenyans because this investment will not only allow us to grow the size of our fleet, but also by extension create employment and support the government in providing high quality public transportation,” he added

The first six months of the company’s operations had essentially been a pilot phase.

SWVL recently closed its $42 million Series B-2 funding led by BECO Capital and Sweden’s Vostok New Ventures. This makes it among the best funded start-ups in the region.