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Tue 10 Sep 2013 11:58 AM

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UAE tech startup secures $1.7m investment

Transportation technology startup Careem received million dollar investment led by STC Ventures

UAE tech startup secures $1.7m investment

A UAE-based ground transportation technology startup has received $1.7m in investment, with STC Ventures leading the funding.

Careem, a chauffeur-driven car booking service, currently covers Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Riyadh, and will use the cash injection to strengthen its operating platform and expand operations across the Middle East.

STC Ventures, backed by Saudi Telecom Company, invested the major part of the funds, with other prominent regional angel investors also contributing.

Co-founder of Careem, Mudassir Sheikha, said: “We are very excited to have STC Ventures as an investor and partner. This investment will accelerate our regional expansion plans and further strengthen our operating platform that needs to cater to relatively complex logistics of the region.”

Sheikha started the company with partner Magnus Olsson, both former consultants at McKinsey & Company, in July 2012. Having experienced rapid growth in its first year, Careem allows you to book a car for a precise time in the future, or order it on-demand, through its website or mobile apps.

Careem currently has more than 1,000 cars across its network.

Olsson said: “Our customer feedback has been fantastic. More than 90 percent of our customers consistently rate our service five out of five and user referrals are the biggest source of our growth. We are looking forward to making our service available to more countries and consumers across the region.”

Angus Paterson, partner at STC Ventures, added: “In Careem, we found a startup that is leveraging technology to solve a real problem in the region, bringing tangible benefits to consumers and businesses. The company is led by an exceptional team which has achieved impressive traction in a very short space of time. We are thrilled to be onboard for their next phase of growth."