#Asia Brief: Uber’s Middle East rival Careem closes $500m round as Daimler joins in


Mudassir Sheikha Careem

Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder of Careem. Photo credit: Twitter.

The news:

  • Careem, Uber’s rival in the Middle East, has raised another US$150 million to close out its US$500 million series D round. The ride-hailing company is present in 80 cities in the region, with close to 250,000 drivers and 10 million riders signed up.
  • The latest tranche of funding is led by Dubai’s Kingdom Holding. Other investors, including German automaker Daimler and some VCs, also put in cash.

Why it matters:

  • The round, which is a significant jump from Careem’s previous US$60 million fundraise, brings the firm’s valuation to over US$1 billion. It indicates the opportunity investors see in regional transportation services in competition with Uber.
  • It gives Careem strong investor allies – Daimler, maker or Mercedes-Benz cars, is emerging to be a big ride-hailing player in Europe, having acquired Hailo in the UK, Taxibeat in Greece, and MyTaxi in Germany, while Kingdom Holding backs Lyft and invested in Twitter and Snap before they went public.
  • The fresh funds are expected to up Careem’s game, giving Uber tougher competition amid a series of headaches at the embattled US company.

Source: TechCrunch.

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