Uber in talks with Careem to merge services in Middle East
American cab hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc is in talks with Dubai-based transportation company Careem to combine their taxi-hailing services in the Middle East. The two transportation giants are still in the preliminary stages of discussions and they are discussing several deal structures to manage their services in the region.
According to a report by Bloomberg, one of the deals being considered by the two companies involves Careem's current leaders managing the business on a day-to-day basis after the merger. This also involves the combined business retaining the name of either one or both of the companies.
The other deal being considered involves Uber acquiring Careem. As a part of the deal, Uber would own more than half of the combined companies. Although the discussion has been going on for a long time, it may not result in a deal people familiar with the matter told the English daily.
Uber has been streaming down its business across the globe, primarily in Russia, Southeast Asia and China, as it is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) next year. The company merged its business with Russia-based Yandex NV last year. Earlier this year, The company sold off 27.5 per cent stake of its business in Southeast Asia to Singapore-based cab riding service Grab Holdings.
Also, Uber chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi at a conference in May expressed his optimism in the company charting exponential growth in key markets including Africa, India and the Middle East.
Meanwhile, Careem, which operates across over 90 cities in over 13 countries including Iraq, Oman, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan and Qatar, is preparing for its own IPO in January next year. The company is reportedly in talks with the investors to raise $500 million, which would potentially value the company at $1.5 billion.
Besides this, earlier this year the company announced its plans of recruiting almost 20,000 women drivers across the Middle East over a period of coming two years. At present, Careem has nearly 500 women drivers or 'captains' as the company calls them, working in seven countries including Palestine, UAE, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, and Jordon.