Uber-Careem $3.1 Billion Agreement Biggest-ever Tech Deal in Arab World
Uber Technologies announced it had agreed to buy the Dubai-based ride-hailing application Careem for $3.1 billion, becoming the largest-ever technology deal in the Arab world (passing Amazon’s purchase of Dubai-based Souq for $580 million in 2017). The agreement is expected to be formalized in the first quarter of next year, subject to regulatory approval, the companies said in a joint statement. Once completed, Careem will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber, but both will operate their regional services and brands independently. The acquisition comes ahead of Uber’s imminent IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, expected to value the company at $120 billion. Careem, formed in 2012, has raised $771 million since founders Mudassir Sheikha and Karl Magnus Olsson allowed in institutional investors in 2013, culminating in a current valuation of above $3 billion. Sheikha called the deal a “milestone moment” for the region’s technology sector, adding that the “mobility and broader internet opportunity in the region is massive and untapped, and has the potential to leapfrog our region into the digital future,” he said.