Uber is going through tough times already and its competitors in various regions are making it even harder by constantly upping their ante.
The scenario is now set in the Middle East region: Dubai-based transportation startup Careem has recently closed a Series E round by raising a $150 million tranche. It had announced this round in December when it had secured the first tranche worth $350 million. Now, the total funds in this round amount to $500 million and the valuation is said to have crossed one billion.
Led by Daimler, and Saudi’s Kingdom Holding, the round also saw participation from VC firm DCM Ventures and hedge fund Coatue Management, Careem said in a statement. While, Kingdom Holding, in a press statement said it has invested $62 million in turn of 7.11 percent stake. Also, it will take a seat on the company’s board.
Klaus Entenmann, CEO, Daimler Financial Services AG, in a statement, 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.
Prior to this funding, Careem had raised only $72 million, now, this round will give it a boost to further strengthen its presence across the world. Operating in over 80 cities, the service is quite famous in the MENA region.
As per the company, it has more than 250,000 driver partners working with them and about 10 million people have signed up for the service. It is witnessing a revenue growth of 20 to 25% month on month. It also as a strong presence in Pakistan with the service being available in its major cities.
Uber, clearly, has a lot to make up for. It is up against ride hailing agents like Grab, Go-Jek, Ola in Southeast Asia. It has been in the news lately for the wrong reasons including the stepping down of various employees, the sexual assault controversy, and the recent “leave” taken by CEO Travis Kalanick. It needs to move on strategically with less of controversies and more focus on its operations, or else it might have to take a backfoot in these regions, just like what happened in China.