June 28, 2017

Saudi prince, Daimler invest in Uber rival Careem

Kingdom 5KR is a 281 foot/85.65 metre superyacht owned by Al-Waleed bin Talal.
FrummerThanThou at English Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A Saudi billionaire and Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, have become the latest investors in fast-growing ride-hailing service Careem, the main Middle Eastern rival to Uber Technologies.

Prince al-Waleed bin Talal’s investment vehicle Kingdom Holding Co., which already owns stakes in Twitter Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Time Warner Inc., and Daimler participated in the second round of a $500 million fundraising, Careem said in a statement Thursday. Kingdom acquired the Careem stake from Dubai-based private-equity firm The Abraaj Group but no details were given.

The transaction values the Dubai-based startup at $1 billion, which makes it one of the first regional players to achieve that milestone.

DCM Ventures and New York-based Coatue Management LLC also contributed to the latest fundraising, Careem added.

“The opportunity for further expansion in this region is huge,” said Careem co-founder and chief executive Mudassir Sheikha. Careem said it would use the funds to gain further traction in the region and to help develop driverless pods as a new mode of public transportation.

Careem is widely seen as one of the region’s tech success stories. Launched in 2012, the company is now active in more than 80 cities in the broader Middle East and boasts over 10 million […]

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