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Careem Inc.
Subsidiary of Uber
Vehicle for hire
FoundedMarch 2012; 7 years ago (2012-03)
FoundersMudassir Sheikha
Magnus Olsson
Abdulla Elyas
Area served
100+ cities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia
Key people
Mudassir Sheikha
Magnus Olsson
Abdulla Elyas
ProductsMobile app
Vehicle for hire

Careem is a vehicle for hire company based in Dubai, with operations in over 100 cities in 14 countries[1] in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. The company was valued at over $2 billion as of 2018.[2] It is a subsidiary of Uber, with an independent brand and separate operations.


Careem was co-founded by Mudassir Sheikha, a native of Pakistan[3] and Magnus Olsson of Sweden, who had both worked as management consultants at McKinsey & Company.[4] It started operating in July 2012 as a website-based service for corporate car bookings, and evolved to become a transportation network company with car hire for everyday use.[5]

In 2015, the company acquired a Saudi-based home service company and the Abdulla Elyas, joined Careem.[6] In 2017, the company announced a program to extend maternity leave and hire more women.[7]

In June 2017 Careem launched operations in Palestine as part of a commitment to create one million jobs in the Middle East and North Africa region by the end of 2018.[8] In January 2018 they became the first ride-hailing service to launch in Baghdad. The company also has locations in Najaf and Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.[9][10]

It was announced in February, 2018 that Careem has acquired RoundMenu, a restaurant listing and food ordering platform that operates across the Arab world.[11] In August 2018 Careem said they would be launching bus services, starting with cities in Egypt.[12]

In May 2019, Careem announced the acquisition of UAE-based bike sharing startup Cyacle which will re-brand as Careem Bike.[13]


Careem received seed money of US$1.7 million in a round led by STC Ventures in 2013. In 2014, it received funding of US$10 million in a Series B round led by Al Tayyar Travel Group and STC Ventures.

In November 2015, Careem announced a Series C round investment of US$60 million led by The Abraaj Group.[14][15][16] In October 2016, the company reached an agreement with regulators in Dubai whereby customers are able to book all taxicabs and limousines operating in Dubai via the Careem mobile app.[17] In December 2016, the company raised US$350 million in a Series D round, based on a $1 billion valuation for the company.[18] Saudi Telecom in this funding round invested in a 10% stake in Careem.[19] October 2018 company secure US$200 million funding from its existing investors.[20][21]

On March 26, 2019, Uber agreed to acquire the company for $3.1 billion, including $1.4 billion in cash and $1.7 billion in convertible notes.[22]


In Pakistan, Careem employs women drivers. Women are also employed as drivers in Egypt and Jordan.[2] In Saudi Arabia, women make up 80% of the company's customers.[19] Careem is planning to have a female workforce of 20,000 by the year 2020.[23] In Saudi Arabia, Careem and Uber have started recruiting women, as part of the Saudi Women to drive movement. Women were legally allowed to start driving on 24 June 2018, and Uber and Careem women drivers were able to start working on the same day.[24]



Taxi protests in Egypt[edit]

Uber and Careem faced heavy criticism in Egypt at the beginning of 2016 by local taxi drivers for operating without official taxi licenses. Taxi drivers organized several protests and sit-ins demanding that the Egyptian government intervene to halt the activities of the TNCs. A committee was organized by the Egyptian government to assess the complaints of the protesting taxi drivers and standardize taxi services in Egypt. They ruled in favor of the TNCs, ensuring that they can operate legally and provided legal protection for the TNC drivers who had been facing attacks by both state police and angry taxi drivers.[25][26][27][28]

Data breach[edit]

In January, 2018, Careem discovered data on more than 14 million riders and 558,800 drivers were breached. The company waited until late April, 2018, to disclose this breach because they "wanted to make sure we had the most accurate information before notifying people".[29][30][31] According to investigations conducted by the company, there was no initial evidence of fraud or misuse.[32]

Charity Work[edit]

Careem has been a supporter of Cricket for a Cause for the past two years and has supported the leagues efforts to raise funds for children in developing nations. Moreover, in Pakistan, Careem and Robin Hood Army took initiative to feed more than 10,000 people across the nation.[33]


  1. ^ "Careem eyes potential expansion to 250 cities in MENA". Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  2. ^ a b "Mideast ride-hailing app Careem raises $200 million to expand, expects more funds". 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  3. ^ "Tech in Asia - Connecting Asia's startup ecosystem". Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  4. ^ "Meet Careem: The Uber of The Middle East". Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  5. ^ BASHIR, OMER (February 15, 2016). "Uber-clone vows safe, affordable ride. Should you Careem around Karachi, Lahore?". Dawn.
  6. ^ Prince, Stephanie Nour (January 5, 2015). "Careem acquires Saudi-based home delivery service Enwani". Wamda.
  7. ^ "Dubai's Careem to extend maternity leave, hire more women". Arabian Business. March 8, 2017.
  8. ^ "Dubai's Careem says to launch operations in Palestine". Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  9. ^ "Where does Careem operate? - Careem Cities". Retrieved 2019-05-02.
  10. ^ "Careem launches ride-hailing services in Baghdad". The National. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  11. ^ "Careem acquires online restaurant listing platform RoundMenu, to trial food delivery". The National. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  12. ^ "Dubai's Careem to test bus service in Egypt". Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  13. ^ "Careem Bike marks Careem's entrance into micro-mobility". Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  14. ^ "Careem raises US$ 60 million in new funding with The Abraaj Group as lead investor". (Press release). November 10, 2015.
  15. ^ Aby Sam Thomas (January 13, 2016). "Careem: It's Full Speed Ahead For This Middle East Startup". Entrepreneur.
  16. ^ Williamson, Rachel (November 10, 2015). "Car-hailing app Careem raises $60M Series C". Wamda.
  17. ^ Arnold, Tom; Carvalho, Stanley (October 4, 2016). "Uber faces pressure in Dubai as regulator signs deal with rival". Reuters.
  18. ^ Farber, Madeline (December 19, 2016). "Uber's Middle East Rival Just Got a $1 Billion Valuation". Forbes Magazine.
  19. ^ a b "Saudi women are a captive market for Uber and Careem". The Economist. Retrieved 2017-05-19.
  20. ^ "Careem raises $200m in new funding". October 18, 2018.
  21. ^ "Ride-hailing app Careem raises $200mln to expand". October 19, 2018.
  22. ^ "Uber confirms it's acquiring Middle East rival Careem for $3.1 billion". VentureBeat. 2019-03-26. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
  23. ^ "Careem to have 20,000 female drivers in the Middle East by 2020". Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  24. ^ "CNN".
  25. ^ Pupic, Tamara (15 November 2015). "Entrepreneurs of the Week: Magnus Olsson and Mudassir Sheikha". Arabian Business.
  26. ^ "Egyptian Government: Uber and Careem Will Stay in Egypt". March 10, 2016.
  27. ^ Charbel, Jano (February 4, 2016). "Taxi drivers protest against Uber, other app-based car services".
  28. ^ Menna Alaa El-Din (March 8, 2016). "Egyptian taxi drivers start open-ended sit-in to demand Uber, Careem shutdown". Ahram online.
  29. ^ Alrawi, Mustafa. "Ride sharing platform Careem says hit by cyber attack with data of up to 14 million users stolen". The National. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  30. ^ Al Ali, Nour. "Middle East Ride-Hailing App Careem Reveals Major Cyber Attack". Bloomberg Technology. Bloomberg. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Important security information". Careem. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  32. ^ "Ride-hailing app Careem reveals data breach affecting 14 million people – TechCrunch". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  33. ^ Release, Press. "Careem and Robin Hood Army Pledge to Feed 10,000 People". Retrieved 2019-02-01.

External links[edit]