Careem raises US$ 60 million in new funding with The Abraaj Group as lead investor
November 10, 2015

Careem raises US$ 60 million in new funding with The Abraaj Group as lead investor

  • Careem is the leading app-based car service in the region covering 20 cities from Morocco to Pakistan
  • New investment from Abraaj, Al Tayyar Travel Group (Al Tayyar) and other investors will drive growth into new markets and cement Careem’s leading position in region’s major cities

Dubai, UAE, 10 November 2015: Careem, the MENA region’s locally founded app-based car service, today announced a Series C investment of US$ 60 million with The Abraaj Group (Abraaj) as lead investor. This funding represents one of the largest investments in the region’s emerging technology sector and will be used to accelerate market expansion and innovation in Careem’s car service across its core markets in MENA, Pakistan and the wider region.  It marks the third round of fundraising by Careem and sees Abraaj join other leading investors including Al Tayyar, STC Ventures, Beco Capital, Impulse (a subsidiary of Kuwait Investment Authority), Lumia Capital and Wamda Capital. Al Tayyar remains the largest institutional investor in Careem.

Founded in Dubai in 2012, Careem is an app-based car service currently operating in 20 cities from Morocco to Pakistan. As a home-grown pioneer of MENA’s technology sector, Careem’s mission is to simplify people’s lives through reliable and affordable urban transport. In the last three years, the company has witnessed strong growth month on month of over 30% across its core markets of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Having delivered millions of successful rides with tens of thousands of ‘Captains’ (drivers), this new investment will further strengthen Careem’s leadership position in the region. Careem plans to continue growing by partnering with regulators and governments to create jobs, improve livelihoods and empower women.

Careem will use the funding from Abraaj to invest in further growth in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, introducing key new hires, accelerating its pace of entry into new markets, and developing innovative new products and services. The company was founded by Magnus Olsson and Mudassir Sheikha, both former consultants at McKinsey & Company, and Dr. Abdulla Elyas. It aims to become the biggest consumer logistics business in the region.

Abraaj’s investment in Careem through its Funds builds on its thesis of investing in enterprises that cater to rising levels of urban demand in global growth markets and recognises the relevance of technology-led, “sharing economy” businesses with strong management and growth trajectories.

Commenting on the investment, Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, Partner at The Abraaj Group, said, “The transport industry is witnessing a positive disruptive revolution from the use of technology. The headroom for growth in the ride-share and taxi-app industry continues to be substantial and is proving out globally – and with our markets being no exception. We strongly believe that the combination of Careem and its management team with Abraaj’s track record of supporting regional champions will drive scale, efficiency, and produce significant public policy benefits. We intend to equip this business fully to rise to the challenge – and take leadership of this segment”.

Mudassir Sheikha, Careem’s co-founder and Managing Director, added: “As we successfully close our third round of funding, we welcome our new investors and partners into Careem. The Abraaj Group brings unique regional insights, proven execution capability, and global resources we consider critical to realizing our mission of simplifying the lives of people in the region. We will continue to innovate our product, expand through the region, bring greater income generating opportunities to even more of our Captains, and recruit outstanding talent to serve a growing customer base across our cities”.

About Careem

Careem is an app-based car service which 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 20 cities in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, including Abu Dhabi, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Casablanca, Dhahran, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Dammam, Karachi, Kuwait, Khobar, Lahore, Makkah, Manama, Rabat, Riyadh, Sahel and Sharjah.

About The Abraaj Group

The Abraaj Group (“Abraaj”) is a leading private equity investor, purpose-built for operating in the growth markets of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Turkey.

Employing over 300 people, Abraaj has over 20 offices spread across five regions with hubs in Dubai, Istanbul, Mexico City, Nairobi and Singapore. The Group currently manages c. US$ 9 billion across regional, sector and country-specific Funds.

Abraaj has realized c. US$ 5.4 billion from over 70 full and partial exits, and Funds managed by the Group have made over 140 investments across 10 sectors including consumer, energy, financials, healthcare and utilities. The Group is committed to the highest environmental, stakeholder engagement and corporate governance standards and is a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and the United Nations Global Compact. Abraaj’s founder, Arif Naqvi, was appointed to the United Nations Global Compact Board by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012 and to the Interpol Foundation Board in 2014.

This publication is issued by Abraaj Capital Limited (“ACLD” or the “Firm”), a member of The Abraaj Group that is authorised and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”). Several Group members are regulated by a number of international regulatory authorities including the DFSA under whose rules ACLD has issued this publication.