- Dubai-based mobility startup SWVL, has acquired UK-based B2B smart buses operator startup Zeelo, in a deal valued at $100 million. This comes a few days after the startup acquired Turkish corporate-mobility startup Volt Lines.
- Founded in 2016 by Sam Ryan, Zeelo offers an asset-light SaaS platform to help large enterprises and other institutions to modernise their daily transport systems. Zeelo's solution is used by corporates, staffing agencies, independent schools and universities across the UK, South Africa and the US.
- Last month, SWVL announced the acquisition of Germany-based "mobility as a service" MaaS software platform door2door. In 2021, it also took over a couple of global startups: Viapool and Shotl.
SWVL, a global provider of transformative tech-enabled mass transit solutions, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Zeelo, the UK's largest smart bus platform and technology scale-up, measured by bookings. Joining forces with Zeelo builds upon Swvl's recent successful acquisitions of Viapool and Shotl, and announced acquisitions of Volt Lines and door2door, and provides a launchpad to rapidly land and expand business operations in three strategic developed markets including the UK, South Africa and the US with Zeelo's seasoned team of over 160 staff across the globe, including 29 software engineers based out of Zeelo's R&D hub in Barcelona.
In alignment with Swvl's mission, Zeelo has a well-recognized commitment to driving the shift from single-occupancy vehicles to zero-emission mass transit and deploying transportation services to connect more people to work and educational opportunities. The acquisition is expected to be completed in May 2022.
Mostafa Kandil, Swvl Founder and CEO, said, "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 United Kingdom, South Africa, and the United States, Zeelo rapidly advances our leading market position as a provider of technology-enabled mass transit solutions on a global scale."
Sam Ryan, Zeelo Founder and CEO, said, "Swvl is revolutionizing 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 travelers. 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. 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."
Youssef Salem, Swvl CFO, said, "The acquisition of Zeelo offers Swvl a superb entry point into the US and South Africa, extends our position in the UK, and provides a complementary suite of new mobility products. Combined with our past acquisitions and announced acquisitions, today's announcement further demonstrates our ability to utilize our growth capital and public currency to pursue organic and inorganic strategic initiatives. We look forward to capitalizing on the numerous opportunities provided by this transaction to advance our market position as a provider of technology-enabled mass transit solutions on a global scale."
Zeelo is an asset-light technology company that modernizes daily bus commutes to serve the needs of frontline workers and students through B2B contracts with organizations and family-run bus operator networks. Zeelo's system is used by large businesses, staffing agencies, independent schools and universities across the UK, South Africa and the US that need to provide a private travel solution to people living in areas with poor transport links. Its services model includes a driving accreditation school, contracted fleets, and proprietary technology including a SaaS platform and multiple customer apps, which leverage smart GPS route optimization and ride-sharing software.