At the age of 21, Mostafa Kandil moved from Egypt to Dublin, Ireland to work as intern for Google before he moved on to the Philippines to launch a company as part of Rocket Internet’s internship program. It gives you the sense of the frenetic energy that has led him to many other market launches in his career. Kandil eventually moved to Dubai to work for the ride-hailing company Careem as a market launcher around the world.
Meanwhile tourism rates were going down in Egypt, but public transport remained in high demand, challenges that even the government could not solve. Kandil, along with two other school friends, founded Swvl with the help of a $500,000 investment from Careem. Often described as “Uber for buses”, Swvl calculates a person’s distance to their destination to suggest them the nearest buses to book. With a $42 million series B funding, Swvl expanded beyond Cairo to Nairobi and four other cities in Pakistan in 2019. The Dubai-based company became the the second from the Middle East to be listed on New York’s Nasdaq exchange in 2022. Kandil’s solution for fixing mass transit problems in emerging markets will soon expand to Latin America and other Asian nations.