Monday, July 15, 2024

From Argentina to Egypt: The International Startup Journey of Viapool’s Acquisition by SWVL


The Story of an Arab-Latino Acquisition

The intersection of global startup cultures embodies a tale of ambition, resilience, and strategic alliances. One such narrative is the acquisition of Viapool, an Argentina-based startup, by its Egyptian competitor, SWVL, which is listed on the NASDAQ. This historical transaction not only illustrates the dynamic landscape of globalized startups but also showcases the burgeoning trend of international mergers and acquisitions (M&A) within the startup ecosystem.

The Journey Begins

Viapool, co-founded by Alejo Miragaya, emerged as a pioneering force in shared mobility solutions in Argentina. The startup’s vision was met with an exciting twist when it caught the attention of SWVL, a company that had quickly made its mark by expanding beyond its Egyptian roots into various global markets. Following the acquisition in 2022, Miragaya transitioned to working with SWVL for a period before venturing into angel investing.

A Lesson in Resilience

Viapool’s path to acquisition by SWVL was not the startup’s first encounter with the complexities of M&A. Initially, in 2015, Viapool found itself merging with Safertaxi, a Chilean competitor aiming to consolidate LATAM’s mobility market. The deal, made entirely in equity without thorough due diligence, was spurred by the prospect of Safertaxi’s own acquisition by a prominent German automaker—a proposal that unexpectedly fell through.

This setback, however, was not the end but rather a pivotal learning moment. When the anticipated acquisition by the German entity collapsed, Viapool faced the daunting task of raising funds and strategically navigating Safertaxi’s consolidated operations. Due to strategic misalignments, the partnership was dissolved, allowing Viapool to reclaim its independence and refocus on its core markets.

The Peak of Startup Optimism

The year 2021 marked a significant period of growth and optimism for startups like SWVL. Rapidly outpacing its initial market, SWVL embarked on an aggressive expansion strategy, setting its sights on diverse regions including Turkey, Mexico, and the UK. This expansion was propelled by strategic acquisitions, signaling the beginning of a prominent trend in the startup world: emerging market startups scaling through tangible M&A activities.

The acquisition of Viapool by SWVL underscored a critical shift in the global startup landscape. It highlighted not just the potential for startups from emerging markets to scale internationally, but also the increasing importance of cross-cultural and cross-regional collaborations. Such alliances not only bridge gaps between different markets but also pave the way for shared growth and innovation.


The tale of Viapool and SWVL serves as a testament to the power of strategic partnerships in the global startup ecosystem. It signifies an era where borders are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the pursuit of expansion and innovation. As startups continue to navigate the complex waters of global markets, the story of Viapool and SWVL remains an inspiring reminder of what is possible when resilience, strategy, and ambition converge on the global stage.

Their journey exemplifies not just the challenges startups face in the world of M&A, but also the profound opportunities that lie in embracing risk, learning from setbacks, and forging strategic alliances. As the global startup scene continues to evolve, the story of an Arab-Latino acquisition will undoubtedly resonate as a powerful illustration of the startup world’s boundless potential.

Alex Sterling
Alex Sterling
Alex Sterling is a seasoned journalist with over a decade of experience covering the dynamic world of business and finance. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering the stories behind the headlines, Alex has become a respected voice in the industry. Before joining our business blog, Alex reported for major financial news outlets, where they developed a reputation for insightful analysis and compelling storytelling. Alex's work is driven by a commitment to provide readers with the information they need to make informed decisions. Whether it's breaking down complex economic trends or highlighting emerging business opportunities, Alex's writing is accessible, informative, and always engaging.

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