It’s one of the region’s most successful startups operating in over 100 cities in 15 countries in MENA, including in Palestine and Baghdad, where it became the first ride-hailing service in the countries. Its co-founder Mudassir Sheikha told Arabian Business last year that he plans on expanding to at least 250 cities in the region, with potential markets including Algeria. The Dubai-based company, which is valued at over $1bn, has created more than one million job opportunities in the region.
It partnered with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on an E-Hail Taxi Joint Venture in order to boost the taxi sector. The new company’s name and logo will be announced in the next few months, while it will cater to customers as of April 2019. The e-hail taxi market for limousines, however, will remain open without any changes.
Careem also unveiled its first female driver in Saudi Arabia in 2018, as the kingdom lifted a driving ban on women in June. The company aims to recruit more female drivers around the region to make up a total of 20,000 by 2020. However, Careem is also expanding its platform beyond ride hailing and into payments, delivery and mass transportation. Last year, it also launched Careem Bus in Egyptian capital Cairo. The app offers fares between 60 and 70 percent cheaper than the car service.
Moreover, it announced the launch of an online delivery platform for goods and services. Careem NOW is Careem’s expansion into the food delivery market. The firm will invest over $150 million in the service, which will initially launch in Dubai and Jeddah via a separate app.