Middle East ride-hailing app Careem bags $200m in new funding round

Ben Heathcote

In App Deals. October 21, 2018

Ride-hailing app Careem has secured $200 million in fresh funding. The first tranche of its Series F round, which is expected to exceed $500 million, was led by existing investors including Al Tayyar Group, Kingdom Holding, Rakuten and STV.

Founded in 2012, Careem claims to have 30 million registered users in over 120 cities in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan. The company, which counts German car maker Damler and China’s largest ride-hailing company DiDi Chuxing among its backers, is Uber’s largest rival in the region.

The funding will accelerate Careem’s mission of “simplifying the lives of people” by expanding into mass transportation, deliveries and payments. The company was valued at $1 billion in December 2016 and reports suggest that this latest capital injection gives it a valuation of over $2 billion.

Mudassir Sheikha, CEO and co-founder, said:

“Internet-enabled services are having a profound and positive impact on our region, where the consumer internet opportunity is huge and untapped. As a platform with 30 million users and presence in 120+ cities, Careem is uniquely positioned to tap into this opportunity by expanding into new verticals. We are delighted and grateful that our existing investors are the first to commit additional capital in support of our vision.”

In October this year, Careem launched a mass transportation service in Egypt and in February, acquired Dubai-based RoundMenu to expand its delivery services into food.