Egypt’s transport start-up SWVL preps for Nasdaq listing after merger with Queen’s Gambit

Egypt’s transport technology start-up SWVL announced on Wednesday it entered into a merger agreement with U.S. special purpose acquisition company Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital, a step that would enable the Egyptian company to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Upon completion of the proposed merger, the combined public company will be named Swvl Holdings Corp and is likely to be listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “SWVL”, the company said in a statement.

SWVL, which is headquartered in Dubai, runs buses along fixed routes and allows customers to book and pay for them through an app and operates in 10 countries including Egypt, Kenya, and Pakistan. According to the merger, the company will have a fully diluted equity value of $1.5 billion upon completion of the transaction, it added.

Swvl will be the first $1 billion plus unicorn from the Middle East region to list on Nasdaq and only tech-enabled mass transit solutions company to list on any stock exchange.

The transaction will provide $445 million in proceeds to SWVL which it will use to expand to 20 countries by 2025, the statement further read, adding that the company will be listed as SWVL on the exchange.

Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital is a female-led special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) said earlier in January that it was looking to invest in a target company with a focus on sustainability in the sectors of clean energy, healthcare, mobility or industrials, among others.

Mostafa Kandil, co-founder and CEO of Egyptian transport technology start-up Swvl

Speaking about the merger with Queen’s Gambit, Mostafa Kandil, Swvl founder and chief executive, said: “With their partnership, as a public company, we will expand our daily commuting offerings and enterprise TaaS services that remove barriers to seamless mobility for the populations that need it most.

“In doing so, we will create even greater value for all stakeholders and continue innovating best-in-class technology solutions that improve the universal, daily struggle of mobility for so many.”

Promising, Fruitful Partnership

In alignment with Queen’s Gambit, Swvl said it is a mission-driven company that is focused on removing barriers to social and economic opportunity, while reducing the carbon footprint of megacities through its offerings.

The combined Company is set to draw upon Queen’s Gambit’s distinguished team of highly successful women, each of whom are at the forefront of their respective industries, have deep investment experience, and boast proven track records of successful ventures at public companies and in governance roles, the statement explained.

Victoria Grace, founder and chief executive of Queen’s Gambit

“In Swvl, we have found each of those things and more. Having established a leadership position in key emerging markets, we believe Swvl is ready to capitalise on a truly global market opportunity.” Victoria Grace, founder and chief executive of Queen’s Gambit, said.

“We look forward to working with their team to create significant and sustained value for investors and all stakeholders alike. We will bring to bear the collective financial and operational expertise of the Queen’s Gambit platform, for the benefit of Swvl and the communities that it serves, and believe this combination will serve as a catalyst for massive growth at scale.”

Dubai ruler congratulates SWVL on NASDAQ listing

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has congratulated SWVL’s Mostafa Kandil, saying his brilliant vision led him to establish a $1.5 billion green-focused mass transport company in Dubai.

“Dubai-headquartered Swvl is the first Middle East $1.5 billion unicorn to list on Nasdaq US, founded by Mostafa Kandil, 28-year-old entrepreneur. Dubai’s impact on the global start-up scene shows the vision and spirit of the region’s youth in shaping tomorrow’s businesses,” Sheikh Mohammed said in a tweet.

Burj Khalifa Celebrates NASDAQ Listing

The Burj Khalifa lit up and turned red this evening, celebrating SWVL being the Middle East’s first $1.5 billion unicorn to list on Nasdaq.

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