Careem, the ride-hailing service owned by Uber, has announced a spinout known as Careem Technologies with major backing from its parent company and a new source. Tech holding company e&, formerly Etisalat, based in Abu Dhabi, has acquired a 50.03% majority stake in the spinout with a $400 million investment. Careem’s ride-hailing business remains fully owned by Uber. Careem Technologies will focus on the growth of the company’s “super app”, which offers dozens of services beyond ride-hailing in one app. These services include Careem Quik grocery delivery in 15 minutes or less, food delivery, PCR test booking, digital payments and remittance transfers, bicycle rentals, laundry and cleaning services, and event ticket booking.
A spokesperson for Careem said that the non-ride services that are Careem-owned and operated today will be owned and operated by Careem Technologies in the future, while services offered by third-party partners, such as laundry service Washmen or events marketplace Tikety, will remain operated by those third parties.
Careem has emphasized Uber’s enduring role in the new entity. The spokesperson said that Uber will continue to have a shareholding in the spinout, but the spinout will be independent with a different ownership structure. The spokesperson explained that Uber being a publicly listed company meant there were restrictions on how new investment could come in.
Careem operates in more than 80 cities and 10 countries, according to its website. Established in 2012 by co-founders Mudassir Sheikha and Magnus Olsson, the company grew from a Dubai-based ride-hailing firm to a “Super App” platform used across the Middle East from Morocco to Pakistan.
For e&, the investment is part of a broader strategy to expand from what was formerly a telecommunications company to a larger global technology and investments group. Holding a majority stake in Careem Technologies appears to be in line with the company’s aim to increase and scale its consumer digital offerings. “e& is investing $400m to become a majority shareholder in Careem’s Super App alongside Uber and all three of Careem’s co-founders,” a statement from e& said.