Uber – Careem: A dream story!


Deal of the year! This is how Uber’s takeover of Careem has been described. The deal that is estimated to be worth $3.1 billion has a number of beneficiaries. The first is Uber itself, which has acquired the market share of its fierce rival in the Middle East. It has also acquired Careem’s strong offices in Pakistan and Germany, which are well known for their production and development of application software.

There is also a clear benefit for investors, such as the Saudi Public Investment Fund, the strategic investor in Careem, which will see the value of its investment strengthened. Saudi Telecom, Kingdom Holding and Al-Tayyar all of which are Saudi public shareholding companies have been able to achieve record returns on their investments as a result of this transaction. Of course, there are the employees at Careem who will also benefit because they have the option of owning shares in the company. The grand prize will be Uber’s initial public offering (IPO) which is expected to benefit from the acquisition.

Uber has expanded its business model, entering with full force and confidence into the areas of delivery, transportation and fast food, as well as moving within cities and between some cities by helicopter. This has been done in the face of opposition from traditional taxi companies and conglomerates in major cities, such as Paris, London, New York and Cairo.

But everyone understands that Uber and other such companies offer a new and competitive alternative to transportation solutions and communication efficiency and effectiveness. These new technical solutions underline the importance of adaptation.

The success of service applications has had an impact on Saudi Arabia as more than half a million Saudis have downloaded and used such applications. Careem and other service providers completed more than 100 million trips in 2018, covering more than 60 cities in Saudi Arabia. There are more than 375,000 drivers working in these companies and Careem alone has more than 150,000 drivers working with it, more than the total of all Aramco employees.

The beautiful success story of Careem (one of whose founders is a young Saudi from Madinah) and its acquisition by Uber is a sign of the innovation and change taking place in the new Saudi Arabia today.

Success requires creativity and facing the unknown without fear, and the story of Careem and Uber is proof of that.