ViaPool was created 10 years ago in Argentina as an alternative solution to public transport. It was launched in Chile last October, and a few days ago it announced its acquisition by Swvl, a Dubai–based shared travel company.

The cost of the acquisition is not known for sure, but a source close to the matter told Bloomberg that it was close to US$10 million.

ViaPool is a company whose co-founders, Alejandro Taubas and Alejo Miragaya, had a 54% stake in the company prior to the acquisition; the rest belonging to angel investors and venture capital firms. Among its main investors are Chile Global Ventures, Angel Ventures and CLIN.

Carpooling to the Stock Market

In various cities around the world, particularly in developing countries, public transport often faces infrastructural challenges, punctuality issues and increasing traffic congestion. Faced with these problems, companies such as ViaPool are emerging to provide people with mobility solutions.

The Argentinian company uses minivans and buses that users can book, cancel, see the estimated time of arrival and monitor the route in real time: all through their application. By sharing a vehicle in this way, users avoid wasting time and are discouraged from using private vehicles.

As of last October, ViaPool disclosed that they were already working with 80 corporate clients, including Bayer and Unilever, to move more than 150,000 people to their workplaces daily.

The ViaPool acquisition is not the first of its kind for Swvl. This same year it completed the purchase of Shotl, an on-demand transportation service originating in Europe and with a presence in Brazil.

Swvl’s new purchases take place in the context of a possible agreement with Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital, expressing its intention to go public through an SPAC (special purpose acquisition company, or “bank check” company).

This would bring Swvl to a valuation close to US$1.5 billion, TechCrunch reported in July.

For its part, Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital is women-led and raised US$300 million at the beginning of the year. Of this amount, US$45 million dollars have been allocated to new clean energy, health and mobility companies, Swvl belonging to the latter.

This possible initial public offering (IPO) via SPAC could lead the Dubai company and its new acquisitions to be the mobility market leaders both in its country of origin, as well as in Europe and Latin America.

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