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UAE telco invests $400M in Uber's Careem super app

Apr 10, 2023
Illustration of a collage featuring three smartphones and pieces of money.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Emirates Telecommunications Group will buy a $400 million stake in the super app managed by Uber's Middle Eastern subsidiary Careem as it spins out from the ride-hailing business, the companies announced Monday.

Why it matters: The United Arab Emirates-based telco, which is the biggest stakeholder in Vodafone, continues to pursue massive tech investments amid the depressed deal market.

Details: The super app includes food delivery, digital payments, laundry and other third-party services. Careem is available in more than 80 cities across 10 countries, according to its website.

  • Emirates Telecom, also known as e&, will acquire a 50.03% stake in the super app business, according to the news release. Uber will remain a shareholder and own the ride-hailing business. Careem's three co-founders also will be shareholders.
  • The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

What they're saying: "I think of Careem today as a collection of exciting startups that sit on top of a regional technology, marketing and organization platform," Careem CEO Mudassir Sheikha wrote in a letter announcing the investment.

  • "Scaling all these startups and enablers to capture the massive opportunity that lies ahead requires exceptional talent, entrepreneurial energy, and last but not least, significant investment," he continued.

Of note: Uber, which previously was on its own quest to become a super app, has been shedding its assets. As Dan Primack notes, Uber sold its "flying taxi" division and delivery robots business and is considering selling its freight logistics unit.

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