Over the past few years, on-demand mobility startups have become the undisputed drivers of the regional ecosystem. The likes of Careem, Swvl and Halan constituted the bulk of venture capital (VC) investments and highlighted the impact that startups could have on traditional sectors.
But as entire cities underwent a lockdown with movement restricted, it was the mobility sector that came to a grinding halt with it. In a Wamda report looking at the impact of Covid-19 on startups in the region, it was the mobility sector that was affected the most, with business demand dropping to zero and investors shying away from the sector entirely. The high cash-burn nature of mobility startups put them at odds with the new world that emerged, one that values a clear route to profitability.