HomeBusinessKingdom Holding Company and Daimler AG Invest in Careem

Kingdom Holding Company and Daimler AG Invest in Careem

Leading global investment group and German automotive manufacturer round out Careem’s USD 500 million funding. Careem’s valuation is over $1bn

Careem, the leading ride-hailing service in the Middle East and North Africa, today announced the second close of its Series E funding round from leading investors Kingdom Holding Company [“KHC”], a Saudi-based, publicly listed investment company, and Daimler AG, the German multinational automotive financing and mobility services, provider. In addition, global internet investors DCM Ventures and Coatue Management LLC have also participated in this round, and a representative from KHC has joined the Careem Board of Directors. This most recent funding is an extension of the $350 million raised in December 2016 that established Careem as a homegrown unicorn and commits new investors with enormous capital resources and international expertise to Cream’s success.

Now operating in more than 80 cities in the broader region, Careem’s growth trajectory has continued over the past six months: the ride-hailing service launched operations in Turkey, doubled its number of operational cities in Egypt and Pakistan, is operational in more than 50 cities in KSA and has re-entered Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. In addition to the expansion, a series of strategic innovations has seen Careem integrate with Google Maps and Digital Barriers – world leading facial recognition software and global surveillance – and a collaboration with Dubai-based regulator RTA to enable Dubai Taxi booking via the App.

“KHC and Daimler AG bring vital knowledge and insight to our organization as we prepare the next big advances in our journey to shape future outcomes in urban transportation in our region,” said Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder, and CEO of Careem.  “The opportunity for further expansion in this region is huge, not just broadening and deepening our presence in the broader Middle East markets, but also in driving innovation that can have a meaningful impact on our communities. KHC and Daimler AG both bring deep pockets and a long-term perspective on global technology adoption, and we are excited to welcome them on this journey to improve the lives of people in the Middle East.”

KHC, a publicly listed company on the Tadawul (Saudi Stock Exchange) is internationally renowned for its interest in both high-performance global brand and strategic regional interests. Based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, KHC is led by its Founder and Chairman, HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. KHC has achieved three decades of exceptional investment success, and while it is one of the largest foreign investors in the United States, KHC’s disciplined investment approach stretches across the globe and includes leading market segments such as mobility solutions, digital technology and social media (Lyft, JD.com, Twitter), media and entertainment (NewsCorp, 21st Century Fox, Euro Disney S.C.A., Time Warner), and finance (Citigroup). Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal owns 95 percent of KHC with an estimated net worth of U.S. $18.7 billion.

KHC will be the second major Saudi-based company to invest in the tech unicorn, following STC, the largest telecom operator in the Middle East, who first invested in Careem in 2013, with the aim of helping build a mobility platform across the MENA region. This round of funding will promote Careem’s services across the region, deepen its investor base, now among the strongest in the region, and accelerate its technological innovation, including the roll-out of its Driverless Pods.

Klaus Entenmann, CEO, Daimler Financial Services AG, said, “With our investment in Careem, we are now taking the strategic step to becoming the world’s leading provider of mobility services. Careem has quickly leapt to the leadership of ridesharing within the MENA regions by delivering rapid innovation and customer growth, and it is spearheading new ways to transport people from point A to point B.”




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