Careem Closes First Tranche in $500 Million Funding Round Led by Rakuten and Saudi Telecom Company

TechnologyCareem Closes First Tranche in $500 Million Funding Round Led by Rakuten...

First close of $350m will create a million jobs, expand services geographically, and fund research and development


DUBAI, UAE, 19 December 2016 – Careem, the leading ride-hailing service in the Middle East and North Africa, announced today a first close in its $500 million funding round. The investment of $350 million is co-led by Rakuten, Inc., a global leader in internet services and innovation headquartered in Japan, and Saudi Telecom Company (“STC”), the largest telecom operator in the Middle East. New and existing investors include Abraaj Group, Al Tayyar Group, Beco Capital, El Sewedy Investments, Endure Capital, Lumia Capital, SQM Frontier and Wamda Capital among others. Rakuten executive and head of ride-sharing and fintech investments, Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, and an STC Group executive will also join Careem’s Board of Directors.


A local company established in 2012, Careem now operates in 47 cities across 11 countries and hosts over 6 million users and 150,000 Captains (drivers) in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region. The fundraise, supported by Credit Suisse,  is one of the largest for a technology company in the Middle East’s history and a strong indicator of Careem’s ambitious vision. The funds will scale up Careem’s transport services in existing and new markets, accelerate innovation across its platform of high-frequency transactions, and help Careem achieve its goal of creating one million jobs in the region by 2018.


“We are inspired and humbled to work with world class strategic partners like Rakuten and STC” said Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder and CEO of Careem. “They not only bring significant institutional backing for Careem’s new horizons, but also global technology leadership and deep local experience bringing us closer to achieving our mission of improving the lives of everyone in the region.”


“The MENA region has a growing, connected, urban population with great potential for ride hailing and other e-commerce services,” said Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, Executive Officer at Rakuten. “This investment directly aligns with Rakuten’s vision for global innovation as Careem has demonstrated its ability to scale to one of the largest shared economy platforms in the region, and to accelerate the adoption of new transit solutions.


“We are excited to continue a strategic partnership that began in 2013 through STC Ventures’ first investment in Careem, and help build a mobility platform across the MENA region,” said Dr. Khaled Biyari, CEO of STC. “Our investment is a clear bet on the future of mobility, strategic adjacencies, and Careem’s technology leadership in the region.”

Asad Haroon
Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human :) Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon

Must read

Recent News

Highlights of Pakistan Economic Survey 2022-23

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar on Thursday presented the Pakistan Economic Survey 2022-23, a comprehensive analysis of...
UAE 4 Day Work Week - All you need to know

UAE 4 Day Work Week – All you need to know

ABU DHABI, UAE: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has denied a news report circulating on social media platforms regarding the change of working...

Sadiq Sanjrani terms his visit to Russia a historic one

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: During his four-day visit to Russia, the Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani held meetings with Russian Parliamentarians and Government officials to strengthen...

PM Shahbaz Sharif witnesses Signing Ceremony of TAPI’s Pipeline Joint Implementation Plan

Says TAPI to further strengthen energy security of Pakistan and regionISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A high-ranking Turkmenistan delegation headed by the State Minister and Head...
Honda Cd 70 review

Honda CD 70 and Honda 125 bike prices may increase – Budget 2023

With the Federal Budget 2023-24 around the corner, it is expected that prices of Honda CD 70 and Honda 125 motorcycles may rise as...