Middle East-based ride-sharing technology startup Swvl Inc. is approaching an agreement to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, according to people familiar with the matter.
Dubai-based Swvl plans to merge with Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital in a deal that values the company at about $ 1.5 billion, the people said. Swvl was co-founded in 2017 by Mostafa Kandil, who previously worked for the ride-sharing company Careem, which is now a subsidiary of Uber Technologies Inc.
Swvl operates primarily in the Middle East and Africa and provides ride-sharing in areas where mass transit is plagued by poor reliability. Its algorithms and technology help make rides and routes more efficient. The company targets a different type of user than, for example, Uber and focuses more on customers who lack other options to and from work and school. It plans to expand to Latin America as well as Europe.
The Queen’s Gambit SPAC, whose name is a nod to an opening sequence in chess as well as the fact that it’s run by women, raised $ 300 million in January and then tackled another $ 45 million in investment through the insurance companies’ total sales opportunity. At the time, SPAC said they were looking to invest in a target company with a focus on sustainability in, among other things, the clean energy, healthcare, mobility or industry sectors.
A group of investors, including Agility, Luxor Capital Group LP and Zain Group, a mobile voice and data service provider across the Middle East and Africa, plans to inject an additional $ 100 million through a private investment in public equity or PIPE linked to the agreement , the people said.
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