SWVL plans to put off 32% of its crew two months after going public

Egypt-born and Dubai-headquartered mobility startup SWVL is planning to put off 32% of its workforce it stated in an announcement right now.

The corporate’s LinkedIn profile reveals it has over 1,330 staff. Letting go of over 30% of its workforce implies that round 400 individuals will lose their jobs on the mobility firm.

Tech firms, non-public and public, have confronted a reckoning up to now few months with their valuations taking a beating. The impact of an financial downturn has additionally affected their funds main them to chop prices; the highest of the listing is letting go of staff.

This downsizing from the Dubai-based startup provides to the lengthy listing of world cross-stage layoffs in what has been a tough month for tech staff. Over 15,000 tech staff have misplaced their jobs within the U.S. alone according to reports. Firms corresponding to Klarna, Getir, Gorillas and Bolt (the funds firm) have dismissed parts of their workforce whereas the likes of Snap, Twitter and Instacart have slowed down hiring completely.

It’s been a really busy 18 months for SWVL main as much as this information. This March, the corporate went public via a SPAC merger with U.S. women-led clean verify firm Queen’s Gambit Progress Capital. It listed at $10 per share and focused a $1.5 billion valuation however has traded between $4 and $8 for essentially the most half. Its present valuation hovers round $500-$600 million.

The layoffs are coming only a month after SWVL acquired U.K.-based mass transit group Zeelo for $100 million based on sources. It’s one among 5 acquisitions SWVL has made inside the previous 12 months; others embody Germany’s door2door, Turkey’s Voltlines (for ~$40 million), Spain’s Shotl and Argentina’s Viapool.

SWVL stated that although these acquisitions have contributed to its total development, it might want to make reductions on roles automated by investments in its engineering and product and help features groups.

“The deliberate layoffs will impression groups answerable for features which have been automated following funding in engineering, product and help features,” SWVL stated in an announcement.

SWVL stated it plans to realize profitability subsequent 12 months. Dismissing a whole lot of staff is one solution to get there. Others embody growing its proprietary know-how stack and rising its three fashions — the place it makes $5 million in MRR — throughout present and new markets, it stated in an announcement.

SWVL is current in 13 markets globally: the UAE, Egypt, Kenya, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan. In keeping with a supply, nearly all of the layoffs will come from the corporate’s Dubai and Pakistan places of work.

Whether or not SWVL will proceed its growth into new markets corresponding to Colombia, Mexico and South Africa, and the U.S. — introduced throughout its SPAC merger — is unsure.

“Swvl plans to offer financial, non-monetary and job placement help to assist transition sure of its staff to new roles,” the corporate stated in an announcement on the way it plans to help affected staff.

“On account of the portfolio optimization program, Swvl’s administration at present expects that the corporate will likely be cash-flow constructive in 2023.”

CEO Mostafa Kandil sent out a letter to his staff addressing the layoffs. Right here’s part of it:

Develop into Free Money Stream Worthwhile in 2023

– Swvl is implementing a portfolio optimization program to deal with its highest profitability operations, improve effectivity and cut back central prices

– Capitalizes on the very best profitability operations TaaS and SaaS which at present have > 500 contracts in > 10 international locations producing > $5m income monthly

– B2C enterprise can be anticipated to be contribution margin constructive earlier than the tip of 2022

– Builds on latest acquisitions of TaaS and SaaS companies Viapool, Volt Traces, Shotl and pending acquisition of door2door which enhance profitability margins

– Advantages from a world class engineering and product crew and know-how stack which permits for scalability and sustainable development


Irrespective of how large, sources usually are not infinite; money is supposed to be responsibly utilized. We should be as disciplined as ever, which is why right now, Could 30, 2022, we introduced that our portfolio optimization program to show money circulate constructive in 2023.

As a part of that program, now we have thought of varied situations that may enable us to exhibit how a lot we worth our workforce. We imagine that Swvl has reached such a degree of success solely due to the crew, and we’re additionally positive that Swvl will proceed to get stronger.

What we did:

– Voluntary wage deductions from the highest administration crew

– Discount of present workplace areas

– Freezing our present hiring program

– Freezing journey and lodging bills

– Tying expenditures to important enterprise necessities


Efficient right now, Could 30, 2022, we’re optimizing our operations in a few of our markets whereas decreasing our workforce. The discount follows an in depth analysis of crew redundancy and the way this enhances our technique. Now we have organized for one-to-one communications with all the impacted teammates. Every member of the decreased workforce will obtain an invite to have a dialog with a related senior chief to obtain readability on the subsequent steps based mostly on every market’s native legal guidelines, severance guidelines, and greatest practices.

To those that will depart, I want to say I’m sorry. And extra importantly, this isn’t your fault. You’ll ceaselessly be a part of Swvl, and our door will all the time be open to you sooner or later. We’re extremely fortunate and grateful to have labored with such outstanding expertise that many firms can be lucky to have. Apart from your work, what’s going to stick with us is figuring out that we genuinely did rent individuals higher than us. I’m positive you’ll proceed to have a big impression wherever you go, as you’ve gotten finished day in and day trip at Swvl.

Easing the transition for impacted staff:

– Severance: All impacted staff to obtain severance based mostly on gross wage and full money payout

– Provident Fund, Gratuity & Go away encashment different authorized funds

– All RSU to be thought of vested

– Expense claims/OPD claims to be cleared

– All Ultimate Settlements to be taxed as per native requirement

– Payout Switch to be full within the subsequent 21 days

Medical Insurance coverage: to be prolonged for all entitled staff

Inventory Choices: all unvested shares for impacted staff to proceed to vest as per schedule

Alumni Listing: an alumni community listing to help our impacted workforce

No interview coverage for Rejoiners

Laptops to be retained by staff topic to knowledge safety necessities

Replace: In an e-mail to TechCrunch, CFO Youssef Salem stated Swvl is just not shutting down operations in any nation whether or not from its present footprint or deliberate expansions however relatively optimizing its community and headcount in every nation.

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