Swvl has put a halt to intra-city rides in Pakistan, only days after announcing employment layoffs worldwide

Swvl, an Egypt-born, Dubai-based business that entered the Pakistani mass transport market in 2019, has declared that, “in light of the global economic slump,” its intra-city services in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Faisalabad will be suspended beginning June 3rd.

Swvl Travel, which specialises in city-to-city transportation, and Swvl Business, which specialises in business-to-business rides, will be operational as usual.

The news comes just days after the company announced it was going to reduce its global headcount by approximately 32% as part of a “portfolio optimization program to enhance efficiency and reduce central costs to accelerate its path to profitability and turn cash flow positive in 2023.”

Swvl plans to provide monetary, non-monetary, and job placement support to help with the transition of certain of its employees to new roles, according to the company. Such reductions will focus on roles that have been automated by investments in the company’s engineering, product, and support functions, according to the company.

In the same announcement it had pointed out this programme included focusing on the Business to Consumer (B2C) business on Egypt and Pakistan, “currently the company’s highest B2C revenue contribution and profitability markets”.

It also stated that its transportation as a service and software as a service businesses, in which it offers technology-enabled transportation and licences its proprietary technology, are both quickly growing. They now have over 500 active accounts on four continents, generating over $5 million in monthly revenue.

Swvl began trading on the NASDAQ in the United States in March. It was estimated to be worth $1.5 billion at the time, and it was hailed as the first Middle Eastern corporation to establish itself from East to West.