Dubai-headquartered startup to become first Middle East unicorn on Nasdaq

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Dubai-headquartered transport startup Swvl will list on the Nasdaq stock exchange, claiming to be the first $1.5 billion unicorn from the Middle East to list on the exchange.

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The Egyptian company said on Wednesday that it is combining with US special purpose acquisition company Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital in a merger that would pave the way for the listing.

Swvl, which moved its headquarters to Dubai in late 2019, was praised by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum on Twitter.

Referencing the company, he Tweeted: “Dubai's impact on the global start-up scene shows the vision and spirit of the region’s youth in shaping tomorrow’s businesses.”

Swvl operates buses along fixed routes and allows customers to reserve and pay for them using an app and operates in ten countries including Egypt, Kenya, and Pakistan.

It will have a fully diluted equity value of $1.5 billion upon completing the transaction, it said.

The transaction will provide $445 million in proceeds to the company which it will use to expand to 20 countries by 2025, it said.

With Reuters

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