SWVL, a Dubai-based provider of technology-enabled mass transit solutions, has announced its plan to lay off 32 percent of its workforce (around 400 employees) to better cope with the new economic reality the company has found itself in over the past several weeks.
Since SWVL listed its shares this March on the Nasdaq through a merger with women-led blank check company Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital, its valuation has dropped from $1.5 billion to $500-$600 million.
SWVL is just another name on the growing list of companies that have been negatively affected by the current global economic downturn. Even though the company hopes to become profitable again next year, it sees the layoff as the only way forward.
“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,” says SWVL CEO Mostafa Kandil. “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.”
Despite the major setback, SWVL is determined to keep developing its proprietary technology stack and building on its recent acquisitions, which include TaaS and SaaS businesses Argentina’s Viapool, Turkey’s Volt Lines, Spain’s Shotl, and Germany’s door2door.
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The announcement of the layoff didn’t mention how the decision would affect SWVL’s planned expansion to Colombia, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States. Currently, SWVL operates in Argentina, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UAE.
Other technology-enabled companies that have recently announced layoffs include online payment and checkout platform Bolt, German on-demand grocery delivery company Gorillas, and Swedish fintech provider of online financial services Klarna.
Yalla!Hub Forms New Partnership With WEE Marketplace
The collaboration will accelerate e-commerce digitalization and allow for speedy deliveries across the Gulf countries.
After raising $6 million to expand into Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Yalla!Hub is now set to collaborate with WEE to facilitate the sale of products through both YallaMarket and the WEE marketplace. The companies plan to enhance the GCC e-commerce market using a range of innovative solutions for sales and delivery, presenting new opportunities for Emirati-based and foreign suppliers.
“This collaboration with WEE Marketplace signifies a major step forward in our mission to revolutionize e-commerce through digitalization in the UAE and GCC, making market entry and operations smoother both for customers and businesses. With this partnership, we’re able to extend the reach of brands to a wider audience,” explained Leo Dovbenko, CEO of Yalla!Hub.
Meanwhile, new partner WEE is uniquely positioned in the UAE and already well known for fast delivery services. The company’s WEE Marketplace will soon feature goods from Yalla!Hub on their platform, empowering Dubai shoppers with 1-hour delivery windows and a next-day service across the rest of the Emirates.
“WEE Marketplace and Yalla!Hub are absolute leaders of the UAE fast e-commerce market, and this partnership opens new horizons for brands, allowing them to enter at once both platforms. We choose the brands very carefully, aiming to give the best products to our customers,” said Anastasia Kim, CEO and co-founder of WEE marketplace.
The Emirati e-commerce market has now reached a value of nearly $13 billion and is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2027. Express deliveries account for 5.5% of total merchandise turnover, which currently stands at around $700 million. Among the express delivery categories, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, flowers, and groceries lead the way.