UAE-based start-up Careem, which offers chauffeur-driven car booking services, announced that it has received funding worth $1.7 million.
The firm received the investment in a round led by STC Ventures, part of Saudi Telecoms Company. Other prominent regional angel investors also joined STC Ventures in the funding, Careem said in a statement.
Careem, which currently serves Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Riyadh through its website and mobile apps, plans to use the cash infusion to expand to other Middle Eastern cities.
Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder of Careem said: “This investment will accelerate our regional expansion plans and further strengthen our operating platform that needs to cater to relatively complex logistics of the region.”
Established in July 2012, Careem allows customers to book a car for a precise time in the future or order it on-demand through its website or mobile apps. They can track their rides in real-time, pay with credit cards and access receipts online. The company currently has over 1,000 cars across its network.
“User referrals are the biggest source of our growth. We are looking forward to making our service available to more countries and consumers across the region”, added Careem co-founder, Magnus Olsson.
Angus Paterson, Partner at STC Ventures, said: “In Careem, we found a start-up that is leveraging technology to solve a real problem in the region, bringing tangible benefits to consumers and businesses.”
Start-ups in the UAE have begun to attract increased funding from regional and international investors in recent times.
In March this year, daily deals website Cobone.com was acquired by US-based investment firm Tiger Global Management for an undisclosed sum. Last year, J.P. Morgan Chase and Blakeney Management invested over $20 million in Namshi, a Dubai-based e-commerce firm that sells designer clothing.