Bloomberg — Swvl Inc., a Dubai-based ride sharing startup, is buying a controlling stake in Latin American mass transit company ViaPool, according to a statement provided to Bloomberg News.
While terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, the transaction values ViaPool at about $10 million, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because it was private.
The deal will bring Swvl into Argentina and Chile for the first time.
ViaPool’s acquisition by Swvl is its second since it announced plans in July to go public through a merger with the all-female led blank-check company Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital. The company has said that deal is expected to close this quarter.
In August, Swvl purchased Shotl, a Europe-based on-demand ride service that uses shuttles and also operates in Brazil.
Commutes with ViaPool, through the use of minivans and buses, are a hybrid between private ride-share and public transportation services. It appeals to customers looking for safer commuting options. The company has more than 80 corporate clients, including Unilever Plc, Bayer AG and Stellantis NV.
While Swvl’s deal to merge with the special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, hasn’t yet closed, it’s still on the hunt for more deals.
“We will continue to rapidly pursue strategic initiatives to further enhance shareholder value and capitalize on the synergies of our global platform,” Swvl Chief Financial Officer Youssef Salem said in the statement.
Swvl was co-founded by Mostafa Kandil, a former Rocket Internet executive who used to work with Careem, which is now owned by Uber Technologies Inc.
ViaPool co-founders Alejo Miragaya and Alejandro Taubas owned 54% of the company, with the remaining stake owned by venture capital and angel investors. It’s backed by venture capital firms including Chile Global Ventures and Angel Ventures in Mexico.