SWVL has announced that it is pausing two of the services it offers in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. These are SWVL daily and SWVL travel.
SWVL daily is for buses that ply Nairobi city and its suburbs while the travel option is for long distance travel across the country.
The company has had a tough time for a while in the Kenyan market. It began when they had their license suspended by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). This was then sorted out, but after the lock-down period caused by COVID-19 in 2020, things seemingly never picked up.
“In light of the global economic downturn, we are pausing our Swvl Daily intra-city rides in Nairobi next Friday the 3rd of June, 2022. And Swvl Travel on Sunday the 30th of May, 2022,” the company said in a statement.
However, SWVL says that their other product Swvl Business will continue to operate and cater to corporations, organisations, and private entities. The company has promised that the other two services will be back, but there are no timelines given.
Laying off Staff
In related news, Swvl is globally laying off close to 32% of its workforce in an effort to pursue profits.
When it debuted in the market, it’s no question that the service was a hit. The company was actually on a course to disrupt the public transport sector in the city. However, finding a balance between using investors’ cash to attract users, while building a sustainable business remained the issue.
There was truly no way of ensuring you could transport as many customers as possible in a day – at fair prices – while hiring buses and still drawing a profit.