Careem

Uber and Careem have been the talk of the town lately, and by the town, I mean the entire Middle East region.

In case you don’t know why yet, it is because they announced that they have both reached an agreement for Uber to acquire Careem for $3.1 billion, effective the first quarter of 2020.  

Yes, Uber is buying Careem, take a moment to let that sink in. 

So will Careem be gone?!

NO!

Careem is set to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber. Therefore, Uber will acquire all of Careem’s mobility, delivery and payments businesses across the greater Middle East region, ranging from Morocco to Pakistan.

However, Careem will continue to operate as an independent company under the Careem brand and will be led by Careem’s CEO and co-founder Mudassir Sheikha. Careem will also have its own managing board which will consist of three representatives from Uber and two from Careem.

Will this affect our ordering process?

Not significantly.

Both Uber and Careem’s apps will continue to operate under their separate brands, so basically, the application you use will not seemingly change at all.

However, according to both companies’ CEOs and representatives, both Uber and Careem are set to work together with the goal of bringing more benefits to the customers and drivers/captains, as follows:

Benefits for customers:

• Expanded variety of services covering a range of price points.
• Increase in high capacity vehicles and products to suit budget and need.
• Better destination matching, faster pick-up times, flexible payment options.

Benefits for drivers/captains:

• Increase in trip growth and improved services.
• Better work opportunities.
• Greater utilization.
• Higher and more predictable earnings.

So basically instead of two powerful forces apart, they will be one unstoppable force together.

So should we be happy about this?

Yes.

This collaboration would be the LARGEST-EVER technology industry transaction in the greater Middle East region. Meaning; a flood of opportunities in both the consuming and the investing end.

According to statements released by their CEOs, both companies are extremely happy and excited for their “new chapter” as a joined entity.

Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said:

“This is an important moment for Uber as we continue to expand the strength of our platform around the world. With a proven ability to develop innovative local solutions, Careem has played a key role in shaping the future of urban mobility across the Middle East, becoming one of the most successful startups in the region. Working closely with Careem’s founders, I’m confident we will deliver exceptional outcomes for riders, drivers, and cities, in this fast-moving part of the world.” 

Careem’s CEO and Co-founder Mudassir Sheikha said:

“Joining forces with Uber will help us accelerate Careem’s purpose of simplifying and improving the lives of people, and building an awesome organisation that inspires. The mobility and broader internet opportunity in the region is massive and untapped, and has the potential to leapfrog our region into the digital future. We could not have found a better partner than Uber under Dara’s leadership to realise this opportunity. This is a milestone moment for us and the region, and will serve as a catalyst for the region’s technology ecosystem by increasing the availability of resources for budding entrepreneurs from local and global investors.” 

So if both companies are happy, I guess so should we,ha?

It is always great to see huge business collaborations taking place in the Middle East and opening doors for more work opportunities and growth.

However, as excited as we are, any new change is doomed to bring on a bit of anxiety with it, so we will hold our breaths till 2020 and hopefully, there won’t be anything to worry about.

What about you? Do you think this merge will change your daily life and commute for the better or for the worse? Tell us in the comments.

Update (27-3-2019): The Egyptian Competition Authority upon whose approval depends this deal has expressed their concern regarding Uber monopolizing the market as a result of this transaction, and has invited third parties to present their concerns as well.