Dubai’s Swvl to buy Turkish company Volt Lines as it expands portfolio

Volt provides mass transit solutions in Istanbul and Turkey’s capital, Ankara

Turkey-based Volt Lines provides tech-enabled mass transit to corporate clients. Photo: Volt Lines

Dubai-based shared mobility services provider Swvl agreed to acquire Turkish company Volt Lines as it seeks to expand its operations in Europe.

Founded in 2018, Volt provides mass transit solutions to corporate clients working in more than 110 companies through a network of “smartly routed” shared buses, a statement from Swvl on Tuesday said.

It has a strong presence in Turkish cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, the capital.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

“With this acquisition, we are deepening our presence in Europe, immediately expanding our enterprise client base and continuing to deliver on our growth objectives,” Mostafa Kandil, Swvl founder and chief executive, said.

Mostafa Kandil, who previously worked for Careem, started Swvl in 2017 to provide a reliable and affordable option for commuters in cities with 'broken mass transit'. Photo courtesy Swvl

Swvl — a Cairo-born, Dubai-based company valued at $1.5 billion — began trading on Nasdaq in the US last month after a merger with special-purpose acquisition company (Spac) Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital, a blank-cheque company led by women.

Swvl is the second Arab technology company to be listed on Nasdaq after music streaming platform Anghami, which was also floated through a Spac in February.

Swvl, which was founded in 2017, allows commuters to reserve seats on private buses operating on fixed routes and pay fares using its mobile app. It has intercity and intra-city buses and offers transport services to business and governments across more than 100 cities in more than 20 countries.

“Volt Lines brings an extensive list of multinational customers that we are excited to continue to grow relationships with,” Youssef Salem, Swvl’s chief financial officer, said.

Swvl entered the European market in August last year after it acquired a controlling stake in Shotl, an Uber-like service in Barcelona for bus and van operators that caters to municipalities, corporations and educational institutions.

It also bought Argentina’s Viapool in November and European tech-enabled mass transit solutions provider door2door last month, with the transaction expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

The Volt Lines deal is also expected to be completed in the second quarter and is subjected to customary closing conditions, Swvl said.

“When we launched Volt Lines four years ago, we set out to deliver a revolutionary transit experience to make commuting more reliable and affordable in Istanbul,” Ali Halabi, Volt Lines’ founder and chief executive, said.

“With Swvl’s global footprint, leading technology platform and proven ability to scale, we believe they are the ideal partner for Volt Lines to accelerate expansion of our platform.”

Updated: April 26, 2022, 4:50 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS