Tuesday 12 December 2017
 
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DAIMLER MAKES KEY INVESTMENT

Kingdom Holding acquires major stake in Careem

DUBAI, June 15, 2017

Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding, the investment firm owned by billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has acquired a seven per cent stake in Careem, a leading ride-hailing service in the Middle East region.  

It was done through a secondary share purchase as well as participating in the latest Primary Round E-1 Capital Raise amounting to a total transaction value of $62 million.

As part of the deal, Abraaj Group, a leading investor operating in growth markets, divested its shareholding in Careem to Kingdom Holding Company.

Careem announced the second close of its Series E funding round from leading investors KHC and Daimler AG, the German multinational automotive financing and mobility services provider. In addition, global internet investors DCM Ventures and Coatue Management LLC also participated in this round.

The transaction makes KHC one of the largest holders of Preferred Shares in Careem and will grant the Saudi group a seat in Careem’s board of directors.

This most recent funding is an extension of the $350 million raised in December 2016 that established Careem as a homegrown unicorn, and commits new investors with enormous capital resources and international expertise to Careem’s success, said a senior official.

Abraaj said it had closely partnered with Careem and its management team through a critical phase of the company’s growth.

The group helped drive and increase corporate client outreach through its strong regional networks, accelerated strategic hiring, and supported the company with expansion into new markets.

Ahmed Badreldin, partner and head of Mena at The Abraaj Group, said: “We recognized the opportunity for Careem to scale and rapidly grow its offering across the region. We are proud of the rapid advancements the company made based on our investment and partnership."

Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder and CEO of Careem, pointed out that Abraaj Group had been a great partner for over the past two years and the company’s unique regional insights and global resources had been a major contributor to its current success."

"We will continue to expand, innovate, lead and serve our mission of simplifying the lives of people in the region,” he noted.

Sheikha pointed out that KHC and Daimler AG bring vital knowledge and insight to the organization as it prepares the next big advances in the journey to shape future outcomes in urban transportation in the region.  

"The opportunity for further expansion in this region is huge, not just broadening and deepening our presence in the broader Middle East markets, but also in driving innovation that can have a meaningful impact on our communities," he stated.

Operating in more than 80 cities in the broader region, Careem’s growth trajectory has continued over the past six months: the ride-hailing service launched operations in Turkey, doubled its number of operational cities in Pakistan, is operational in more than 50 cities in Saudi Arabia and has re-entered Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

He pointed out that KHC and Daimler AG both bring deep-pockets and a long-term perspective on global technology adoption, and "we are excited to welcome them on this journey to improve the lives of people in the Middle East."

On the key stake buy, KHC’s CEO Talal Ibrahim Al Maiman: "The investment in Careem is a continuation of our strategy to invest in new technologies as we have done with previous investments in Twitter, JD.com and Lyft."

"As the leading ride hailing company in the region, and positioned with excellent growth prospects, Careem sets an example for regional businesses by providing employment opportunities to locals and developing talent," he noted.

KHC has nominated its current CFO Mohamed Fahmy Soliman to represent the group in Careem’s board, he added.

With this transaction KHC has become the second major Saudi-based company to invest in the tech unicorn, following STC, the largest telecom operator in the Middle East, who first invested in Careem in 2013, with the aim of helping build a mobility platform across the Mena region.

This round of funding will promote Careem’s services across the region, deepen its investor base, now among the strongest in the region, and accelerate its technological innovation, including the roll-out of its Driverless Pods.

In addition to expansion, a series of strategic innovations has seen Careem integrate with Google Maps and Digital Barriers – world leading facial recognition software and global surveillance, - and collaborate with Dubai-based regulator RTA to enable Dubai Taxi booking via the App.

Klaus Entenmann, CEO, Daimler Financial Services AG, said: “With our investment in Careem, we are now taking the strategic step to becoming the world’s leading provider of mobility services."

"Careem has quickly leapt to the leadership of ridesharing within the MENA regions by delivering rapid innovation and customer growth, and it is spearheading new ways to transport people from point A to point B," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Kingdom Holding | Stake | Daimler | Abraaj | Careem |

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