Careem, the Middle East subsidiary of Uber Technologies, is reportedly in advanced discussions with the Emirates Telecommunications Group Company (e&) to expand its Super App beyond ride-hailing services.
According to Reuters sources familiar with the matter, Careem is seeking investment to finance its Super App, which offers services beyond its core ride-hailing business, such as digital payments, bike rentals, courier services and food delivery. The investment vehicle, which is to be created separately, will have a service-level agreement with the app and its solutions.
While Uber owns Careem's app and its 50 million registered users, the Super App strategy was conceptualized by Careem's co-founder and CEO, Mudassir Sheikha, who had long advocated for expansion beyond ride-hailing. Uber’s acquisition of Careem in 2019 for $3.1 billion gave the U.S. company market dominance across the Middle East and Pakistan.
The acquisition allowed Uber to expand its presence in the region ahead of its initial public offering, which raised $8.1 billion from investors and valued the company at $82.4 billion. In 2020, Uber shut down its Uber Eats operations in the Middle East and is now solely focused on ride-hailing in the UAE.