Shuttle-hailing firm SWVL yesterday launched its services in Kenya with a Sh1.5 billion investment, looking to disrupt Nairobi's chaotic matatu sector.
Nairobi marks the second city in Africa for the Egyptian-based firm, with the management saying it plans to make the city the hub for its sub-Saharan African operations.
"There is a big opportunity in Nairobi for us to create a mass transit system for the middle class and the Sh1.5 billion investment will go into setting up the infrastructure and networks to make it happen," said SWVL Co-founder and Chief Executive Mostafa Kandil at a press briefing in Nairobi.
The firm first introduced its Nairobi operations in January this year on a pilot basis and has so far built a network of 150 buses running along 55 routes with numerous pick-up and drop-off points.
The capital injection will go towards improving current operations and scaling up the business into new routes in the city and other towns in the country.
The service allows users to book scheduled rides via its mobile app for Sh200 per trip and is targeted at consumers who want a more orderly commute than the conventional matatu ride while paying less than taxi-hailing services like Uber and Bolt.
The firm engages drivers who already own and operate their buses to join its fleet in a lease agreement. Drivers and SWVL then sign an agreement on a minimum daily guarantee based on the average earnings expected per day from each bus.