If you didn’t see the news, you got the Careem notification. It read that our Dubai-based cab-hailing gem is ‘joining forces with Uber’. The tech industry’s latest collab that’s got everyone talking is Uber x Careem – a collab that happens to be a multi-billion dirham acquisition and the largest tech deal the region has ever seen.
In a move to dominate the Middle Eastern market, the US ride-booking giant acquired its biggest regional rival for $3.1billion (approx. 11 billion Dhs). Careem, which has over 30 million registered users, over one million drivers and operates in 90 cities across 15 countries, boasts a delivery service and payment platform that Uber will also acquire.
With a portion of the amount to be paid in cash and the rest to be paid in notes convertible into Uber shares, this marks the highest-valued tech deal to ever take place in the region. The first major tech deal that made headlines was Amazon’s takeover of e-commerce site Souq.com in 2017.
View this post on Instagram
قبل ٢٠ عاما في عام ١٩٩٩ أسسنا في صحراء دبي مدينة للإنترنت والتجارة الالكترونية .. شكك الكثيرون في الفكرة .. اليوم بيعت شركة كريم لأوبر ب11 مليار درهم .. وقبلها شركة سوق بعدة مليارات من الدراهم لأمازون .. شركات خرجت من "صحراء" دبي. العالم يفتح الطريق لمن يعرف أين يريد الوصول . In 1999, many people questioned our idea to establish Dubai Internet City in the desert. Two years ago, Amazon acquired the multi-billion dirham Souq.com and today, Uber acquired Careem for Dh11 billion. These giant companies flourished from the "desert" of Dubai.
Dubai’s ruler and the UAE's Vice President and Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, took to Instagram to share the announcement with his multi-million follower base, expressing his pride at the momentous deal for the nation. His son and Dubai’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, also expressed his delight on Twitter.
We congratulate Uber and Careem for the deal announced today, the largest in the region's technology sector. We are delighted to see a major international enterprise acquiring a Dubai-based company for $3.1 billion, and we wish them all the best. pic.twitter.com/IiSAVYrqxw— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) 26 March 2019
The news comes amidst speculation about when Uber will file for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange – a move the San Francisco-headquartered firm is expected to make in a matter of weeks.
Careem’s CEO and co-founder, Mudassir Sheikha, said in a statement, “Joining forces with Uber will help us accelerate Careem’s purpose of simplifying and improving the lives of people, and building an awesome organisation that inspires. The mobility and broader internet opportunity in the region is massive and untapped, and has the potential to leapfrog our region into the digital future.”
Good news: you won’t have to replace the bright-green, winking-face Careem icon with Uber’s phone app, because Careem will continue as an independent brand, but operate as Uber’s subsidiary.
Yalla Careem/Uber on.
Press play to watch our interview with Her Royal Highness Princess Haya...