Careem, Middle East’s leading car booking service, raises up to US$ 10m investment in a round led by Al Tayyar Travel Group with STC Ventures also participating

Careem announced today that Al Tayyar Travel Group recently led a US$ 10 million investment round in the company with existing investor STC Ventures and other regional investors also participating to further expand its technology-enabled chauffeur-driven car booking service across the Middle East and beyond.

Dubai, Riyadh, December 2, 2014: Careem, the UAE-headquartered app and web -based chauffeur-driven car booking service which serves 14 cities across the Middle East, plans to use the cash infusion to expand its business into new markets, and enrich its technology and operations platform. Careem was founded in Dubai in 2012 and now operates in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Beirut, Cairo, Dammam, Dhahran, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Karachi, Khobar, Kuwait, Lahore and Riyadh.

This is the second round of investment for the technology start-up. In September 2013, STC Ventures (Saudi Telecom’s VC arm) led a $1.7 million round to fund technology development and Careem’s expansion into Saudi Arabia.

Careem, which was started by Magnus Olsson and Mudassir Sheikha, both former consultants at McKinsey & Company, allows customers to book a car for a precise time in the future or order it on-demand through Careem’s website or its mobile apps. It serves a large number of corporate clients and individual customers who like the service for its convenience, reliability and safety. The start-up is still growing at more than 30% month-on-month and has reached a headcount of 70.

Mudassir Sheikha co-founder and Managing Director of the business noted, “We are delighted to have a strategic partner like Al Tayyar on board. Their strong Saudi presence and regional experience will help us deliver a reliable and consistently high quality service to our Saudi customers and accelerate our geographic expansion to the rest of the Middle East.”

In the last one year, Careem has established presence in the major cities in Saudi, including Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Khobar. The service has been widely adopted by corporate visitors and females for its reliability, convenience and safety.

Magnus Olsson, co-founder and head of the technology commented, “It is rewarding to develop a service that improves people’s lives and receives such positive feedback. We are excited to work with Al Tayyar to optimize our solution to the nuances and specific needs of the cities that we expand to in this next phase of growth.”

Dr. Nasser Altayyar, Al Tayyar Travel Group’s Vice Chairman and Managing Director commented on the announcement saying “the investment in Careem is aligned with our strategy to embrace new technologies in how we serve our customers. In Careem, we found not only a great product that we believe can grow exponentially, but also a team of passionate people who are determined to provide a much-needed solution to ground transportation and logistics in the region. We operate a large car rental fleet and pride ourselves to serve more than 1,600 government and corporate clients coupled with a large network of 400 branches serving its retail customers. The speed at which Careem has grown in just two years, beating off international competition in the region, gives us complete confidence in their ability to emerge as winners with strong potential to create significant synergies with the Group. We are excited to be part of this Middle Eastern brand’s success story.”

Commenting on the deal news, Angus Paterson, Partner at STC Ventures, added “the Careem team never ceases to impress us with its passion, energy, strategic vision and ability to execute, having delivered incredible traction since we first invested. We are delighted to provide further investment to support the business in its ongoing rapid expansion to create a regional market leader.”

About Careem

Careem is a ground transportation technology company, which makes ordering chauffeur-driven cars reliable, safe, convenient, and affordable. Its customers can order a chauffeur-driven car on or through Careem’s mobile apps; track their rides in real-time; pay with credit cards and access receipts online. Established in July 2012, Careem operates in and has offices across 14 cities in the Middle East, including Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Cairo, Dhahran, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Dammam, Karachi, Kuwait, Khobar, Lahore, Manama, and Riyadh.

About AlTayyar Travel Holding Group

With market capitalization of about SAR 20 billion (US$5.3 billion), Altayyar Travel Holding Group (ATG) is the leading integrated travel service provider in the MENA region.

ATG is the leading travel management service provider for corporate and government clients in Saudi Arabia serving over 1,500 corporates and government organizations.

Enabled by a robust technology platform, ATG serves its government, corporate and retail clients through a global network of 387 branches. Additionally, ATG is the only vertically integrated religious tourism provider in Saudi Arabia. ATG has consistently won prestigious awards and recognitions from its partners and leading airlines.