UAE telecoms giant e& Group takes $400m stake in Careem
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UAE telecoms giant e& Group acquires $400m stake in Careem Super App

UAE telecoms giant e& Group acquires $400m stake in Careem Super App

The company plans to use the proceeds from the new investment to accelerate its ambitious vision to create the first ‘everything app’


UAE telecoms operator e& Group signed a binding agreement with Uber Technologies to acquire a 50.03 per cent stake in Careem Super App, in a deal valued at $400m.

Careem plans to use the proceeds from the new investment to accelerate its ambitious vision to create the first ‘everything app’ serving customers across the Middle East region. This will include expanding its core food, grocery and fintech services and the Careem Plus subscription programme across the region while adding more partner services to its super app.

The company’s ride-hailing business will remain fully owned by Uber and continue to be available with all other Careem services on the existing app for customers.

“The Careem Super App, is a digital native that has built a rapidly growing payments, food and grocery delivery network and a platform for other digital businesses to scale from,” Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO at e& said adding that together the two entities will be able to push the boundaries of customer experience.

Careem expects significant synergies with e& Group and to benefit from the telecom company’s large customer base and extensive experience scaling complex tech-enabled businesses across a largely shared geographic footprint.

Since Uber’s acquisition in 2020, Careem has evolved to become a multiservice app offering users over a dozen services. The Careem Super App offers over a dozen services including food and grocery delivery, micro-mobility, a digital wallet and suite of fintech services, and additional third-party services such as home cleaning, car rental and laundry.

Read: Careem clocks in one billion rides

The super app serves customers in 10 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

e& accelerates growth strategy

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi-based e& said the investment is in line with its strategic ambition of scaling up consumer digital offerings and accelerating its transformation to a global technology and investments group.

The acquisition is expected to provide the company with access to multiple digital verticals, new innovative digital services, strong talent and new geographies.

“With this partnership between e&, Careem and Uber we will set new standards of product innovation and customer experience throughout the region,” said Khalifa Al Shamsi, CEO of e& life.

e& Group will leverage the Careem Super App to boost the growth of its consumer digital services, including the expansion of e& life’s fintech vertical, e& money, which will play an important role in the super app vision by providing e& money’s powerful financial service offerings.

The company has stepped up deal activity in recent years as it seeks to transform its business into a global technology and investment group. Last month, telecoms service provider, which initially acquired a 9.8 per cent stake in Vodafone for $4.4bn in May 2022, increased its stake in the London Stock Exchange firm to 14 per cent.

e& also raised its ownership in Etisalat Investment North Africa to 100 per cent in 2021, increasing its effective ownership in Morocco’s Maroc Telecom Group to 53 per cent, up from 48.4.

Read: UAE’s e& raises stake to 14% in Vodafone

In March 2022, the technology group announced that it had offered to increase its stake in Saudi Arabia’s Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) to 50 per cent and one share in a bid to expand and optimise its investment portfolio.

The firm was crowned the most valuable telecom brand in the Middle East and Africa, according to the 2023 Brand Finance Global 500 Report. It achieved remarkable business growth in 2022, with its portfolio of brands now exceeding a total value of $14bn.

With a market capitalisation of Dhs200,8bn as of April 10, 2023, e& has 163 million subscribers across 16 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

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