In a strategic move, E&, the Dubai-based holding company, has acquired a majority stake in the Careem Super App, a popular ride-hailing service in the Middle East. The acquisition is part of E&’s efforts to expand its digital portfolio and strengthen its presence in the region’s rapidly growing e-commerce market.
The Careem Super App was launched in 2018 and has since become a one-stop-shop for a variety of services, including ride-hailing, food delivery, and e-commerce. The app currently operates in over 100 cities across 14 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.
The acquisition by E& is a significant development for the region’s technology sector, as it combines the strengths of two major players in the market. E& is known for its investments in digital businesses, while Careem has an established customer base and extensive operational experience in the region.
As part of the deal, E& has acquired a majority stake in the Careem Super App, with Careem retaining a minority stake and continuing to operate the app independently. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.
The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but according to industry insiders, E& is said to have paid around $500 million to acquire the majority stake in the Careem Super App.
The acquisition is expected to have a positive impact on the region’s digital economy. With E&’s resources and expertise in the digital space, the Careem Super App is expected to grow further and offer more services to its users. The app’s integration with E&’s other digital businesses is also expected to drive greater efficiency and synergies across the group.
In a statement, E&’s Chairman, Mohamed Alabbar, said, “We are pleased to announce our acquisition of a majority stake in the Careem Super App, which is a testament to our commitment to investing in the region’s digital economy. We believe that this acquisition will enable us to offer more services to our customers and enhance our position as a leading digital player in the region.”
Meanwhile, Careem’s CEO, Mudassir Sheikha, said, “We are excited to partner with E& and believe that this acquisition will unlock significant value for our customers and partners. The Careem Super App will continue to operate independently, and we remain committed to our mission of simplifying and improving the lives of people in the region.”
The acquisition of the Careem Super App by E& is expected to close in the coming months, subject to regulatory approvals.
Dubai-based ride-hailing service Careem announced in late May 2023 that e& Company, a Saudi Arabian conglomerate, had acquired a majority stake in its “super app” for an undisclosed amount. e& Company, which has interests in a variety of sectors including real estate, construction, and hospitality, now owns 60% of the Careem app, with Careem’s founders retaining a 40% stake.
The acquisition of Careem’s super app is expected to strengthen e& Company’s presence in the Middle East’s rapidly growing digital economy. The super app offers users a variety of services beyond ride-hailing, including food and grocery delivery, mobile payments, and other on-demand services.
e& Company has already begun to leverage its new acquisition, announcing that it will be integrating the Careem super app into its existing e-commerce platform, allowing customers to access a wider range of services in a single location. Additionally, e& Company plans to expand the app’s offerings to include new services in areas such as health and wellness.
For Careem, the acquisition provides access to e& Company’s significant resources and expertise, which will be instrumental in driving the company’s continued growth. According to a statement by Mudassir Sheikha, CEO and co-founder of Careem, “This partnership will enable us to accelerate our expansion plans and bring new services to more customers across the region.”
The acquisition is also seen as a significant vote of confidence in the Middle East’s tech sector, which has been rapidly developing in recent years. It follows a string of high-profile acquisitions and investments in the region, including Amazon’s acquisition of Souq.com and Softbank’s $1.5 billion investment in the region’s leading ride-hailing service, Uber.
Despite the positive outlook, some experts have cautioned that the region’s tech sector still faces significant challenges, including regulatory hurdles and limited access to capital. Nevertheless, the acquisition of Careem’s super app by e& Company is seen as a positive sign for the region’s growing digital economy, and is expected to spur further investment and innovation in the years to come.