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Uber in Talks to Buy Dubai-based Ride-Hailing Rival Careem for Around $2 Billion

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【Summary】Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc is in talks to buy Dubai-based rival Careem Networks FZ for around $2 billion to $2.5 billion, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

FutureCar Staff    Sep 17, 2018 1:09 PM PT
Uber in Talks to Buy Dubai-based Ride-Hailing Rival Careem for Around $2 Billion
author: FutureCar Staff    

Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc is in talks to buy Dubai-based rival Careem Networks FZ for around $2 billion to $2.5 billion, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

No final decisions have been made, and the companies may walk away from the deal, according to Bloomberg.

Careem is considered a "tech unicorn" in the Arab Region. The company was founded in 2012 and operates in over 100 cities in 14 Arab countries. The company is the leading ride-hailing app in MENA, Turkey, and Pakistan. The company claims to employ over 1 million "Captains", the term it uses for its drivers.

Uber and Careem held preliminary talks in July to combine their Middle Eastern ride-hailing services, hoping to resolve a costly rivalry in the region, Bloomberg had previously reported.

Uber has been exploring new business growth opportunities polish its image under the leadership of its new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi who took over the company in August 2017 after the ousting of Travis Kalanick. The company is aiming for a 2019 IPO as it looks to fend off serious competition in the growing ride-hailing market.

The company has expanded its offerings to include food delivery business with Uber Eats, as well as acquiring New York-based electric bike-sharing company JUMP Bikes offering passengers a last-mile alternative to cars directly from the Uber app.

SoftBank which is the majority stakeholder in Uber, has opened up the possibility of combining Uber with other ride-hailing assets the Japanese group owns across Asia. SoftBank has stakes in Singapore-based Grab and India's Ola.

At the time of the investment, SoftBank said it wants Uber to focus on growing in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Australia and less of a focus on Asia, one of the most costly and competitive regions for the ride-hailing company, a source had told Reuters.

Uber tried to break into China where the company was engaged in a fierce two-year battle in the world's most populous country, pouring billions into fare subsidies to compete for both drivers and passengers to try and boost its market share.

However, Uber ceded and sold its China ride-hailing operations to Didi Chuxing in 2016, with Uber keeping a 5.9 percent stake in the new company.


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