Uber sells $400 million stake in Careem’s super app business

by Ana Lopez

Careem, the Middle East-based ride-hailing company that Uber bought in 2019, is turning its super-app business into a new startup backed with $400 million from Emirates Telecommunications Group Company.

Emirates Telecommunications, the UAE telecoms giant now known as e&, said Monday it has reached an agreement with Uber to buy a 50.03% stake in the new company called Careem Technologies.

Following the deal, Careem will be split into two companies, Careem Rides and Careem Technologies. according to a blog post van Careem CEO and co-founder Mudassir Sheikha.

The clear goal is to make its Super App unit the dominant business.

Careem Rides, which will be wholly owned by Uber, will be staffed by 260 people and will focus on its core product. Ashish Labroo, who will report to Uber’s Rides leadership, will lead Careem Rides.

Careem Technologies will manage the “Super App” along with all other industries, Sheikha said. This company will be owned by e&, the co-founders of Uber and Careem, including Sheikha and Magnus Olsson. This unit, which will be led by Sheikha, will have around 1,400 employees.

Careem was founded in 2012 as a competitor to Uber and has since added food and package delivery, bus services, and wire transfers. Careem made a number of acquisitions such as RoundMenu and Commut as it diversified its business. Uber acquired Careem in 2019 for $3.1 billion.

This latest step shows that Careem’s founders and newest investor see the most potential in services that extend far beyond ride-hailing. Available in 10 countries, the Super app combines all of Careem’s products, such as food delivery, bike rentals, financial services that allow users to send and receive payments, and third-party services, such as cleaning, into a single platform.

Sheikha said the $400 million in new funding will be used to “scale the Super App and build leading verticals in all of our key markets.”

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