Wasel started up toward the beginning of last year and currently offers private and shared ride services around Egypt. They charge a flat rate and emphasize safe and cheaper ways to travel where other modes of transport have been lacking.
It all began when founder and CEO Ahmed El-Rawy, while working in Upper Egypt, posted on social media canvassing opinions on a possible carpooling service between Cairo and Minya. After receiving very positive feedback, he had a simple online version of such a platform developed, and made it available to tenants at the Cloud co-working space for their views.
“In the first three hours, we received more than 300 ride requests and more than 50 driver registrations,” he told Disrupt Africa. “The next week, we developed the website, and within a month Wasel launched as the first inter-city travel startup in Upper Egypt.”
The startup now has 13 routes between Cairo, Beni Suef, Minya and Assuit, and has transported more than 3,000 passengers. It also offers shipping options, and El-Rawy believes it is tapping into a major market – hundreds of thousands of Egyptians travel between cities on a daily basis, restricted to the schedules of train and bus services.
“Most of them suffer from many problems, like the timing of the train not being suitable or being delayed, besides the challenges of getting a ticket,” he said.
“With Wasel you can book your seat in an air-conditioned and comfortable car to travel to any place between two cities in an easy way and at a convenient price.”
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