Ride-hailing giant Uber and its subsidiary, Careem, have signed a binding agreement to sell a majority stake in Careem’s Super App spinout to United Arab Emirates’ based tech holding company, e&, for $400 million.

With this investment, Careem aims to accelerate the expansion of its services, including food and grocery delivery, micro-mobility, a digital wallet, and suite of fintech services, to customers across the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Careem Super App, which offers over a dozen services, including third-party services such as home cleaning, car rental, and laundry, serves customers in ten countries.

In addition, e& plans to 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.

e& CEO Hatem Dowidar said, “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. The shared vision between e& and Careem is exciting, we believe that together we’ll be able to enhance our impact across different markets in the region while pushing the boundaries of customer experience.”

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi added, “I am thrilled to partner with Careem, and welcome e&, as we grow the Careem super app to deliver more services to millions of people in this fast-moving part of the world. All of us at Uber are excited about the impact the Careem platform will have on this region over the next decade and beyond.”

Careem CEO and co-founder Mudassir Sheikha said, “The opportunity to use technology to leapfrog the lives of people in the region is enormous. With two strong partners in e& and Uber, I have no doubt that we will build the preeminent technology platform of the region.”

Since Uber’s acquisition in 2020, Careem has evolved into a multiservice app, offering users over a dozen services. In the UAE, Quik, the grocery delivery service, grew 46 times in 2022, and food orders grew by 86%. Careem Pay launched as a true fintech in the UAE, with a digital wallet and payments products, including bill payments, international remittances, domestic peer-to-peer payments, and one-click checkout. Careem Bike doubled its network of pedal-assist bikes and grew by 61%. Careem also launched its popular subscription service, Careem Plus, saw its first partner service (home cleaning) grow 4.9 times, while it onboarded new third-party partners offering rental cars, spa, and laundry services.

This deal is in line with e&’s strategic ambition of scaling up consumer digital offerings and accelerating its transformation to a global technology and investments group. The company has 163 million subscribers across 16 countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Completion of the transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals, customary closing conditions, and administrative procedures

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2023.

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