Ride hailing service Swvl announced it will pause services in Kenya citing the global economic downturn. Swvl was operating in Kenya with three different solutions, Swvl Daily, which is tailored for intra-city rides in Nairobi. Swvl Travel, which is tailored for City to-City rides. Swvl Business which is tailored for Business-to-Business rides.
The Egyptian firm which has operated in Kenya since July 2019 will suspend Swvl Daily intra-city rides in Nairobi Friday the 3rd of June, 2022, and Swvl Travel on Sunday the 30th of May, 2022. The statement goes on to say that Swvl Business will still operate to cater to corporations, organizations, and private entities.
The firm has also announced plans to reduce its workforce by 32 percent across various countries in a bid to become profitable by 2023.
In a letter sent to employees, CEO Mostafa Kandil says, “Over the past few weeks, Swvl has been hit like others across the globe with changes to its financial realities. While change is often unexpected, we believe that any attempt to resist it instead of adapting to it will prove futile. Today, with the current global economic downturn, as much as we did everything we could to put people first, we now know that we are not able to keep everyone unimpacted. We know we have to make tough decisions in order to prioritize profitability over growth to ensure that Swvl thrives once we are on the other side of this.”
“Effective today, May 30, 2022, we are optimizing our operations in some of our markets while reducing our workforce. The reduction follows an extensive evaluation of team redundancy and how this complements our strategy.”Mostafa Kandil, CEO Swvl
The company cited automation as the reason for the layoffs. “Such reductions will focus on roles automated by investments in the Company’s engineering and product and support functions.”, the company statement said.