While Uber Freight, the platform for connecting a company that needs to ship goods and truck drivers, arrives in Europe, the American decides to accelerate its development. Careem Networks FZ is based in Dubai and operates in the shadow of Uber. For this reason, the American giant decided to buy it back. The announcement of the acquisition is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26. A record buyback estimated at nearly €2.7 billion.
Careem’s shareholders, including Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment company and Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, were asked to accept the terms of the transaction. Uber spokesman Matt Kallman did not wish to comment on the acquisition. This acquisition project comes shortly before Uber’s (imminent) IPO. This could be one of the largest IPOs in the history of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Officially, Uber is expected to file an IPO application in April.
This acquisition marks the official launch of Uber in the Middle East. In fact, one of the largest investors in the American company is located there: the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund. Arab governments are seeking to diversify their economies based exclusively on oil. Indeed, this acquisition comes a few months after Amazon’s acquisition of Souq.com. Careem is considered to be the most valuable technology startup in the Middle East.
The startup has more than one million drivers and operates in more than 90 cities and 15 different countries. In the same way as Uber, Careem has diversified into the delivery of food and parcels, but also into money transfers. Uber will be able to officially set foot in the Arab countries and extend his influence a little more on the world.
Finally, the countries of the Middle East could be more lax and less protectionist than the United States in developing autonomous driving systems. This would allow Uber to develop its technologies in a favourable context.