Careem, the biggest rival to Uber in the Middle East, has raised $200 million in an ongoing funding round co-led by Saudi-based Kingdom Holding Company. The company expects to raise a further $500 million by the end of the round, which is expected to bring its net worth to nearly $2.5 billion.
Other investors in this ongoing round include Al Tayyar Group, Rakuten, and STV. Worth noting here is that the Kingdom Holding Company is the investment vehicle of Saudi Arabia’s richest man alive, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Careem plans on using the new fund in its kitty for expansion into different geographic locations.
Speaking of the growth potential for Internet-enabled services including ride-hailing platforms, Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder, and chief executive at Careem, said: “Internet-enabled services are having a profound and positive impact on our region, where the consumer internet opportunity is huge and untapped.” He added: “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.”
As of today, Careem has made its inroads into 15 countries across the Middle East and South Asia. Despite its limited reach geographically, the company already boasts nearly 50 percent of Uber’s user numbers.