Careem invests $500,000 in Egyptian transport start-up

Users of the Swvl app can book fixed-route bus trips at prices 60 percent to 80 percent lower than competing ride-hailing services. (AFP)
Updated 17 July 2017
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Careem invests $500,000 in Egyptian transport start-up

DUBAI: Ride-hailing firm Careem has acquired a minority stake in a three month-old Egyptian start up that connects commuters with private buses in Cairo.
Careem invested $500,000 (SR1.88 billion) in Swvl and Magnus Olsson, the Dubai-based firm’s chief experience officer and co-founder, will take a board seat. It did not disclose the exact size of the stake.
Swvl, founded in April by a former Careem executive, is a bus transportation service where passengers can reserve and pay their fare through the company’s mobile app.
The app uses the passenger’s location and destination to find the shortest possibly journey time based on the nearest bus station that travels along fixed routes.
Users of the Egyptian ride-hailing app can book fixed-route bus trips at prices 60 percent to 80 percent lower than competing ride-hailing services and without surge or peak pricing.
“We want them to run and learn and develop at a very high pace and high agility and we believe the best way for them to do that is to stay independent,” Olsson said.
Careem, which operates in 12 countries mainly in the Middle East, said last month that would speed up expansion plans after raising $500 million from investors, including German carmaker Daimler and Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding.
Swvl, which is not an on-demand service like Uber and Careem, has 50,000 passengers and 200 buses using the mobile app, said Mostafa Kondil, the chief executive and co-founder.
It is targeting 300,000 monthly trips by the end of 2017, he said, claiming that it has been signing up a customer per minute since launch.
Swvl will use the Careem investment to increase its workforce, develop new app features, and to expand in Cairo and into other cities, including Egypt’s second-largest city Alexandria, and to Middle Eastern and Asian countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan next year.
“We’re planning to really improve our product,” Kondil said.


Labor ministry partners with Al-Nahdi to train Saudis

Updated 26 April 2018
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Labor ministry partners with Al-Nahdi to train Saudis

The Makkah region branch of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) has signed a nationalization agreement for the Saudi pharmacies sector with Al-Nahdi Medical Company.

The agreement covers preparing and qualifying young Saudi men and women for the labor market, by providing training programs offered by Al-Nahdi Medical Company at their school, Al-Nahdi Academy.

The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Abdallah bin Ahmed Al-Tawi, director of the Makkah region branch of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, and Youssef Al-Harthi, who attended on behalf of Al-Nahdi Medical Company’s CEO Yasser Jawhergi.

The agreement comes under Al-Nahdi’s strategy, which is in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. Al-Nahdi aims to expand its community-health services in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. The company said it also aims to activate the role of the private sector in supporting Saudization programs, while creating real and sustainable opportunities for the Saudi youth to play an important role in the cultural and societal progress that the Kingdom is witnessing.

Al-Tawi said the initiative aims to enforce related decisions and programs that empower the Saudi youth to embark on their careers and enhance public-private partnerships.

“Through this agreement with Al-Nahdi company, we also seek the nationalization of the private sector in the different regions of the Kingdom, along with increasing the percentage of the national working force in the labor market by enabling effective partnerships with the private sector,” he said.

Jawahergi highlighted the importance of the agreement in light of the Kingdom’s road to national transformation. “We are committed to creating a sustainable and advantageous work environment for our citizens and society. Our goal is to achieve a real partnership between the public and private sectors, in order to support the Saudi youth of both genders, and create new nationalization opportunities,” he said.

Jawahergi added: “This initiative is considered to be one of the most important initiatives in line with the Saudi Vision 2030, as it establishes an effective and real partnership between the members of our society.”

Al-Nahdi is a Saudi retail pharmacy chain that was founded by Sheikh Abdullah Amer Al-Nahdi in 1986 as a sole proprietorship.