UAE: e& buys majority stake in Careem’s super app for Dh1.47 billion

The deal will help both companies to grow their existing businesses, introduce new services and improve customer experiences

Follow us on Google News-khaleejtimes


Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 10 Apr 2023, 9:18 PM

e&, previously known as Etisalat Group, has acquired a majority stake in Careem’s super app for $400 million (Dh1.47 billion) as the merger and acquisition (M&A) market stays vibrant in the UAE.

However, Careem’s ride-hailing business will continue to be fully owned by Uber Technologies. The deal will help both companies to grow their existing businesses, introduce new services and improve customer experiences.

The Dubai-based ride-hailing company is developing its app into a super app, offering a wide range of services including food and grocery delivery, micro-mobility, a digital wallet and suite of fintech services, home cleaning, car rental, and laundry among others.

This new investment will help e& leverage the super app to boost the growth of its consumer digital services, including the expansion of e& life’s fintech vertical and e& money.

e& has also been on a buying spree, of late, making a number of acquisitions. In February, e& increased its stake in Vodafone to 14 per cent and also acquired a 100 per cent stake in online marketplace Service Souk DMCC “ServiceMarket”.

The fast evolution of fintech and other new technologies has created a flurry of M&A activities around the world, especially in economies where technology adoption is quite high and they’re well ahead of others in embracing the new technology, such as the UAE.

According to EY’s 2022 data, M&As in the Middle East and North Africa region (Mena) grew 13 per cent to 754 deals, with the UAE topping the region. The UAE recorded the region’s three largest M&A deals.

Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, e&, said the mobile-first population has given rise to an ecosystem that has encouraged the use and also expanded the scope for super apps with user expectations turned towards performing their daily activities on digital platforms.

“The Careem Super App is a digital native that has built a rapidly growing payment, food and grocery delivery network, and a platform for other digital businesses to scale from. We believe that together we’ll be able to enhance our impact across different markets in the region while pushing the boundaries of customer experience,” he said.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber, said the Careem super app will deliver more services to millions of people in this fast-moving part of the world. “All of us at Uber are excited about the impact the Careem platform will have on this region over the next decade and beyond.”

Mudassir Sheikha, CEO and co-founder of Careem, said, the opportunity to use technology to leapfrog the lives of people in the region is enormous.

“With two strong partners in e& and Uber, I have no doubt that we will build the preeminent technology platform of the region," said Sheikha.


More news from UAE