November 10, 2015

The global transportation industry is undergoing a positive disruptive revolution, thanks to emerging technology such as ride-share and app-based car services that provide consumers with more options for their commute, and the headroom for growth in the industry looks substantially positive, according to Abraaj Group’s latest investment.

The Dubai-based emerging markets-focused private equity firm recently led investors to close a $60 million Series C investment for Careem, a technology-based car service currently operating across cities in Middle East North Africa region and South Asia.

The investment, which represents one of the largest investments in the region’s emerging technology sector, will help the car-service accelerates its market footprint beyond its core home markets as well as innovate its existing service markets.

Technology has become ubiquitous in our daily lives, changing the ways we do everything from how we communicate to how we bank. And as the number of people living in urban cities increases, so also are demands on public infrastructures and traditional business services. Technology-based enterprises are filling in the void left by those businesses, providing alternatives and affordable services such as “share economy” that improve people lives.

Established in 2012 by former McKinsey and Company consultants Magnus Olssom and Mudassir Sheik, and Abdullah Elyas, Careem’s goal is to become the biggest consumer logistics business in the region by providing affordable and reliable urban transport.

Since its launched, the company has experienced a 30 percent month on month strong growth across its markets.

The company plans to hire more “captains” people and will continue to work with regulators and governments in its markets, including Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.

Mudassir Sheikka, Careem’s co-founder and managing director said “Abraaj group brings unique regional insights, proven execution capability and global resources we consider critical to realizing our mission of simplifying the lives of people in the region. We will continue to innovate our product, expand though the region, bring greater income generating opportunities to even more of our Captains, and recruit outstanding talent to serve a growing customer base across our cities.”

Speaking about the firm’s investment, Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, Partner at private equity investment firm Abraaj Group, said the firm “strongly believe that the combination of Careem and its management team with Abraaj’s track record of supporting regional champions will drive scale, efficiency and produce significant public policy benefits. We intend to equip this business fully to rise to the challenge- take leadership of this segment.”

Abraaj, which invests in the company through one of its funds, joins other institutional investors including Al Tayyar- the largest institutional investor in Careem, STC Ventures, Kuwait Investment Authority, Lumia Capital, BECO Capital and Wanda Capital.

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