Will Uber Acquire Careem in the upcoming years?
Looks like the transport giant Uber is reportedly after the Dubai-based rival Careem Networks FZ. The transportation company is in talks to buy Careem for about $2 billion to $2.5 billion, reported by Bloomberg on Monday. The news has been reported by people who do not wish to be identified as the talks were private.
“No final decisions have been made, and the companies may decide against the transaction. However, negotiations are ongoing and Careem’s management is working to convince the firm’s merits of the deal,” added Bloomberg.
Uber and Careem held their initial talks during the month of July to combine their Middle Eastern ride-hailing services, hoping to resolve a costly rivalry in the region, Bloomberg had previously reported.
“We believe the consumer internet opportunity in the region is massive and untapped,” Careem said in an emailed statement.
“In the last couple of years, the rest of the world has begun to embrace this opportunity and we have been approached by multiple strategic and financial investors. Our ambition remains to build a lasting tech institution from the region.” quoted Bloomberg.
However, Uber did not immediately respond for a requested comment. Uber, which is set to go public within next year, has been seeking new ventures to grow itself with. It is prepared to battle against other competitors.
In fact, the company has been building other popular services such as food delivery and freight hauling and has even acquired electric bike service JUMP in April to offer U.S. passengers an alternative to cars.
SoftBank, which is the majority stakeholder of Uber, has opened up to the possibility of combining Uber with other ride-hailing services across Asia. SoftBank has stakes in Singapore-based Grab and India’s Ola.
However, at the time of the investment, SoftBank has asked Uber to focus on growing in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Australia – not just Asia. Mainly because Asia is among the most costly and competitive regions for the ride-hailing companies.
Careem has more than a million drivers and operates in more than 100 cities across the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Pakistan, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, Palestine, Iraq, and Sudan.