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Thursday, 31 March 2022

Swvl to debut on the Nasdaq today after SPAC merger approved

Swvl is making its landmark Nasdaq debut today: Shares in Egypt-born, UAE-based mass transit app Swvl will start trading on the Nasdaq today, Swvl CFO Youssef Salem confirmed to Enterprise, after shareholders in its SPAC Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital approved the move in a general assembly meeting yesterday. Swvl is the second Middle Eastern tech company to list on the Nasdaq via a SPAC merger, after Abu Dhabi-based music streaming platform Anghami made its debut earlier this year.

Swvl is listing 35% of its shares under the ticker SWVL. Nasdaq trading opens at 9:30am EST — or 3:30pm CLT, with the shares set to open at USD 10 per share, Salem told us. The company plans to invest USD 250-300 mn over the next three years to expand its global footprint after it goes public.

All eyes will be on Swvl’s performance today — and there may be some trepidation given the headwinds SPACs (and the Nasdaq) have recently faced. Redemption rates for US SPACs are soaring, more blank-check mergers are being canceled, and the Nasdaq has been battered by an extended sell-off in tech stocks amid global volatility. Anghami saw mass redemptions on its debut, as shareholders traded in 9.8 mn of the SPAC’s 10 mn shares for cash.

But Swvl is feeling confident: “We are not concerned because we have a pipeline of fully committed capital, between the PIPE investments we’ve received and non-redemption agreements that we’ve signed with Queen’s Gambit’s investors,” Salem told us previously.

Backing the listing: The SPAC has raised USD 121.5 mn in private investment in public equities (PIPE). Among those committing capital were the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), auto parts maker Teklas’ VC arm Teklas Ventures, our friends at Chimera, as well as Agility, Luxor Capital Group, and Zain Ventures

LOCAL ADVISORS: Law firm Ibrachy & Dermarkar is Swvl’s legal advisor on the merger, while Vinson & Elkins and Shahid Law Firm are acting as advisors for Queen’s Gambit.

Swvl is also investing USD 15 mn in Argentina over the next three years to scale operations, Salem told us earlier this month. Swvl entered Latin America for the first time late last year with its acquisition of a controlling stake in South American firm Viapool, following a soft entry a few months earlier with its acquisition of Spanish firm Shotl, which operates its on-demand SaaS platform in Brazil.

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