CAREEM Announces $100M Investment in Research and Development amid Global Expansion
Expansion plans include UAE and Pakistan, and opening new R&D centers in Egypt and Germany
DUBAI, UAE – July 11, 2016 – CAREEM, the region’s leading app-based car service, today announced a new research and development (R&D) strategy and plans for global expansion. Over the next five years, CAREEM will invest $100M in R&D, which includes growing its team in UAE and Pakistan, and opening new R&D centers in Egypt and Germany. The investment will accelerate innovation in transportation-related technology infrastructure for the region and keep CAREEM at the forefront of this dynamic new industry.
“Over the last few years, the region has witnessed a surge in technological innovation and has become home to rapidly growing technology startups,” said Magnus Olsson, co-founder and chief navigator, CAREEM. “These startups are using technology to improve the lives of people in the region. CAREEM is committed to continue innovating to offer the region a safe and reliable transportation option. In order to do that, we have to double-down on R&D, which is why we have announced this investment today.”
A key element of the new R&D strategy involves expanding the company’s engineering footprint in Pakistan. Today, an additional 50 engineers join the CAREEM team in Pakistan. The engineers will be joining the company from VentureDive -a technology solutions company that creates and invests in technology products and services that simplify and improve lives of people worldwide. The new team will work to enhance the user experience, quality and performance of the CAREEM app.
“We are thrilled to see that a technology team we incubated is being acquired by CAREEM, a regional institution backed by global investors,” said Atif Azim, CEO, VentureDive. “This helps validate our mission of creating products of global prominence out of Pakistan, and takes us a step closer to our vision of creating a technology organization and an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region that are recognized as second to none in the world.”
Over the last decade, the Middle East has become a strategic hub for organizations with an international presence due to its proximity to emerging markets. Dubai specifically has experienced massive population growth and was recently listed as one of the five fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the world, according to the Brookings Institute. As a result, local institutions must be able to meet the growing demand for new products and services. The R&D center in Germany will provide CAREEM with access to a global talent pool and booming startup scene to provide its users with a higher level of service and increase awareness of its expanding global presence.
Founded in 2012 by Mudassir Sheikha and Magnus Olsson, ex-McKinsey consultants, and Dr. Abdulla Elyas, CAREEM has experienced more than 30 percent month-over-month growth since its inception and has expanded across 27 cities in the MENA region and Pakistan. The company currently has 3 million registered users and more than 50,000 Captains and is backed by investors Saudi Telecom Ventures, Al Tayyar Travel, The Abraaj Group, Beco Capital, Impulse, Lumia Capital and Wamda Capital.
CAREEM is the region’s leading app-based car service that makes ordering chauffeur-driven cars reliable, safe, convenient, and affordable. Its customers can book a car on the CAREEM apps and website, or by calling a call center. CAREEM is a pioneering company in the region’s nascent ‘sharing economy’ – its mission is to make people’s lives simpler by revolutionizing the transportation and logistics industry in the region. Established in July 2012, CAREEM operates across 27 cities in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region: Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah AlMukarramah, AlMadinah AlMonawara, Dammam, AlKhobar, Jubail, Dhahran, AlQasseem, AlAhsa, Abu Dhabi, Alexandria, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai, Karachi, Kuwait, Lahore, Manama, Rabat, Sahel and Sharjah.
VentureDive was founded by technology entrepreneurs who studied at Stanford and MIT and worked in Silicon Valley and on Route 128 (Boston’s Technology Corridor). Their aim of creating a world-class technology organization and providing the same environment of innovation and development in Pakistan as that found in the US, ended up in the founding of VentureDive in 2012. VentureDive creates and invests in technology products and services that simplify and improve lives of people across the globe, and has several successful products, services, and investments to date.