Not cars, not motorcycles, but scooters.
Almost 40% of ride-hailing trips cover less 4 kilometres by car. But such a short distance being covered by a car is arguably a waste of investment: this is where Slyd’s business model stems from. “As the increasing fuel and oil costs eat away from trip fare margins,” CEO and Co-founder of Slyd tells Startup Scene. “Thus, it’s clear that the car needs to be replaced with a more convenient vehicle.”
Before he establishes Slyd, Shalaby worked on Careem Bus, trying to replace cars on the streets with buses. He realised that in order for people to leave their cars at home and adopt other transport methods, they need a first and last mile solution to cut down walk time to stops. He left Dubai and travelled to Singapore and China for a month to learn about how these countries have adopted micro-mobility solutions. Then came back to Egypt looking for a CTO to partner with to bring the service to life, and that was when he got a referral to Mohamed Hamza, and together they founded Slyd, an app that provides on-demand electric scooters, that can be located, unlocked, and paid for, all through the mobile app.
“We charge users a fee for renting the vehicle, which they can use for a short distance trip that is usually under 5 kilometres,” says Shalaby. “Scooters are found in strategic locations where people have to walk long distances and can rent an e-scooter to cut the same distance in half the time.”
Initially Slyd will be available on university campuses, business complexes, compounds and coastal towns with plans in the future to be able to extend the service to all areas of greater Cairo in need of short distance mobility.
“We’ve built software that makes cash payments seamless to overcome the low credit card penetration rate in our region, making it easier for more people in our region to use our service that is highly dependent on a cashless payment,” says Hamza. “We’ve built smart -locking and unlocking software for our vehicles, to reduce vehicle theft and vandalism.” Hamza and his technical team have also developed superior operational solutions, leveraging data to make sure they deploy their scooters where users need them the most.
Designing their business to operate in “tough” cities like Cairo and Alexandria, Shalaby and Hamza aspire to have the ability to scale Slyd into cities with higher levels of infrastructure and have a competitive edge. While they are Cairo-based, but they aim to build an Egyptian business that rolls out to the Middle East.
But a strong business model is nothing without a strong team. “We also believe a team with a deep understanding of the business and is very well positioned to solve the problem of short distance mobility,” says Haidy Zakaria, Slyd’s Marketing Director. “The founders have extensive experience in the fields of startups, tech enabled mobility and information systems.”
Shalaby was the market launcher of Careem Egypt, he helped Careem launch in nine cities. He was also the Operations Manager at Careem HQ for New Categories, working on motorbike-hailing, food delivery, and Careem Bus. Meanwhile, Hamza is ex-IBM and was also the tech lead for Trufla Technology, that does insurance technology for the Canadian market. Zakaria also built the branding for several startups most recently of which is Torino coffee, along with Aly Mansour who was a product manager at Lava mobile phones.
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