As reported earlier this morning by the Bloomberg – Uber is in advanced talks to buy rival Careem Networks FZ, based in Dubai. It will be an agreement that would expand the transport giant’s operations in the Middle East, according to people familiar with the matter.
The companies could announce a cash and stock transaction that values Careem at around US $ 3 billion in the coming weeks, said the Bloomberg report. Representatives of the companies declined to comment.
Uber, which is based in San Francisco, emphasizes growth and aggressively invests in food delivery, logistics, electric bicycles and autonomous vehicles while preparing for a possible initial public offering this year.
Uber Eats currently has a presence in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. Moreover, with a presence in almost 350 cities, although Uber’s deployment in the US, Canada and Mexico more than double the cities they have in Europe, its next region with the largest presence.
Uber and Careem held preliminary talks in July to merge their transportation services in the Middle East, hoping to resolve their rivalry in the region, experts explained at the time.
Careem, whose sponsors include the investment firm of Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal to Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, was valued at around $ 1 billion in a 2016 financing round. The estimation of Careem makes it one of the most valuable technology companies in the Middle East.
Careem negotiated with investors earlier this year to raise US $ 500 million, with the idea that the company has a possible value of US $ 1,500 million before going public, indicated sources close to the matter in May.
Middle East: Careem has more than one million drivers and operates in more than 100 cities in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Pakistan, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, Palestine, Iraq and Sudan, depending on their website.
The application allows customers to book trips in cars, bicycles, golf carts, boats and pedicabs, in addition to scheduling deliveries.