UAE taxi-app start-up Careem raises $60m from Abraaj-led group

The funding will be used for regional expansion



Dubai-based car services start-up Careem has received a new round of funding worth $60m from a group of investors led by the Abraaj Group, it was announced on Tuesday.

The Series C investment represents one of the largest investments in the region’s emerging technology sector, a statement said.

Careem said it will use the funding to invest in further growth and expansion in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia by introducing key new hires, accelerating its pace of entry into new markets, and developing new products and services.

The investment marks the third round of fundraising by Careem. Along with Abraaj, other investors in the company include Al Tayyar, STC Ventures, Beco Capital, Impulse (a subsidiary of Kuwait Investment Authority), Lumia Capital and Wamda Capital.

Al Tayyar remains the largest institutional investor in Careem.

Founded in Dubai in 2012, Careem currently operates in 20 cities across the MENA region and Pakistan.

In the last three years, the company has seen month-on-month growth of over 30 per cent across its core markets of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

It now aims to become the biggest consumer logistics business in the region.

Partner at Abraaj Mustafa Abdel-Wadood said: “The transport industry is witnessing a positive disruptive revolution from the use of technology. The headroom for growth in the ride-share and taxi-app industry continues to be substantial and is proving out globally – and with our markets being no exception.

“We strongly believe that the combination of Careem and its management team with Abraaj will drive scale, efficiency, and produce significant public policy benefits. We intend to equip this business fully to rise to the challenge – and take leadership of this segment,” he added.

Careem’s expansion comes even as its global rival Uber has announced plans to grow its presence in the MENA region.

Last week, the company – which operates in 13 cities across the MENA – revealed that it will invest $250m into the region to boost its presence in local markets.

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