UAE’s telco giant acquires majority stake in Careem Super App

A representational image of logos of Emirates Telecommunications Group (L), Careem (C) and Uber (R). — Handout picture

Emirates Telecommunications Group company, e&, on Monday announced its decision to buy a $400 million stake in the super app developed by Uber Technologies and its subsidiary Careem.

Emirates Telecom — previously known as Etisalat and now rebranded as e& — is seeking to reinvent itself as a global technology investor for which it has the “capacity and the wallet” to do so, the group’s chief executive officer recently told Bloomberg TV. Last year, it became Vodafone’s biggest investor.

Following the development, Careem’s ride-hailing business will remain fully owned by Uber and continue to be available with all other Careem services on the existing app for customers.

According to the details of the agreement, e& is investing $400 million to become a majority shareholder in Careem’s Super App alongside Uber — which acquired Careem in 2020 — and all three of Careem’s co-founders.

Super apps offer customers a range of services from food delivery to financial services on one platform. Careem’s super app includes a dozen services including food and grocery delivery, remittances and third-party services such as laundry. Careem is available in 10 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Careem will use the new funds to expand its services across the region.

Careem started raising funds for its super app over a year ago. But since then, technology firms have found it more difficult to attract investment after rising interest rates marked the end of cheap money.

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