The UAE telecoms operator e&, formerly Etisalat, has announced that it entered into a binding agreement with Uber Technologies and its subsidiary Careem to acquire a majority stake in Careem’s Super App spinout.
Under the terms of the agreement, Careem’s Ride Hailing business will be separated from Careem Super App and will be fully owned by Uber, while remaining an integral part of the Careem Super App,
e& is investing $400m to become a majority shareholder in Careem’s Super App alongside Uber and all three of Careem’s co-founders. The Careem Super App offers over a dozen services including food and grocery delivery, micro-mobility, a digital wallet and suite of fintech services, and additional third-party services such as home cleaning, car rental and laundry. Careem serves customers in 10 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
Uber had acquired its Dubai-headquartered rival Careem for $3.1 billion in 2019.
Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, e& commented, “Super Apps have catalysed the economic, social and cultural growth of emerging markets today..
“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.”
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber said, “Over the last decade, Careem helped revolutionize mobility across the greater Middle East while building an incredible brand. 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.”
Khalifa Al Shamsi CEO, e& life said: “We are thrilled to welcome Careem into the e& family with this exciting and ground-breaking deal. There are several growth opportunities between Careem and e& life as the “consumer digital” arm of e&. Our current strengths, primarily in fintech and multimedia, coupled with Careem’s services and regional footprint, will accelerate our joint vision towards a regional super app. With this partnership between e&, Careem and Uber we will set new standards of product innovation and customer experience throughout the region.”
Careem CEO and co-founder Mudassir Sheikha said, “The opportunity to use technology to leapfrog the lives of people in the region is enormous. Uber has been an incredible partner over the last three years as we expanded our mission to simplify the lives of people with everyday services beyond ride-hailing. We are excited to bring e& into the family. Their passion for uplifting the region and the synergies across their portfolio are extremely valuable. 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 to become a multiservice app offering users over a dozen services. In 2022 in the UAE, Quik, the grocery delivery service, grew 46X, and food orders grew by 86 percent. Over the course of the year 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 launched its popular subscription service Careem Plus, saw its first partner service (home cleaning) grow 4.9x while it also onboarded new third-party partners offering rental cars, spa and laundry services.
Completion of the transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals, customary closing conditions, and administrative procedures.