Five things to know about the Uber's $3.1bn acquisition of Careem
The development is being hailed as 'game-changer' for the Middle East's tech and start-up scene. Most observers celebrate it as proof that tech investments in the region are judicious and can lead to a profitable exit.
Biggest tech deal: The acquisition - which will consist of $1.7bn in convertible notes and $1.4bn in cash – is the largest technology transaction to ever take place in the Middle East. The deal will see Uber acquire all of Careem’s mobility, delivery, and payments businesse. Taking regional M&As to new heights: Along with Aramco’s acquisition of Sabic, the Uber-Careem deal has brought the value of acquisitions involving targets in the Middle East and Africa more than sixfold this year to $103.4bn. This brings the region’s M&A closer to that of European companies. Encouragement for others: Among those who have praised the merger is Wamda Capital executive chairman Fadi Ghandour, who said the deal will help convince the world that the region is participating in the digital economy and that local start-ups can scale up and have substantial returns. A win for Prince Alwaleed: Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding – an early investor in Careem – sold its stake in the firm for $333m. It will use the funds towards investments in Saudi Arabia and Europe. It will choose between five separate companies over the next eight weeks. Window closing?: Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, CEO of Careem investor, venture capital fund STV, said that he believes the Uber-Careem deal means that the “window of opportunity” for moon-shot ideas from the region is closing, as entrepreneurs around the world seek new opportunities.