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Meet the startups changing mobility for emerging middle classes


In emerging economies, where spending billions to build public transit infrastructure can be out of reach, startups are using technology to meet the mobility needs of a rising urban middle class.
Swvl, Treepz, Jatri, SafeBoda, Urbvan, Chalo and Buser are just a few of the startups that have popped up in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America in recent years, all with a focus on providing on-demand access to transportation. Not only are these startups products of the emerging markets, but because mobility is so essential to a thriving economy, they’re actually driving development. 
“We know that if you want to get good economies of scale and see the positive spillovers of a big urban space, you need to be able to get around at a low cost and in an efficient way,” Nikos Tsafos, the James R. Schlesinger Chair in Energy and Geopolitics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told TechCrunch. “What this does is it enlarges the labor market and makes it more efficient.”
Necessity might be the mother of innovation, but that innovation isn’t limited to the economies where it was conceived. These startups are also providing a less car-centric blueprint for the rest of the wor …

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