Emirates Telecommunications Group will buy a $400 million stake in the super app developed by Uber Technologies Inc.’s Middle Eastern affiliate, part of the Abu Dhabi-based company’s efforts to reinvent itself as an investor in global technology.
According to a statement, the telco giant, which is also Vodafone Group Plc’s largest investor, has signed a binding agreement to Uber and Careem to acquire a 50.03% share in the super-app spin-out.
Uber, which Careem acquired in 2020, will still be a shareholder and will continue to hold all of Careem’s ride-hailing businesses. The super app will have three co-founders of Careem.
Super apps allow customers to access a variety of services, including food delivery and financial services. Careem’s super-app includes more than a dozen services, including grocery delivery and remittances. Third-party services include laundry. Careem is currently available in 10 countries throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Careem will make use of the funds to expand its services in the region.
Careem raised funds to fund its super app more than a year ago. Technology firms have struggled to attract investment since rising interest rates signaled the end of cheap cash.
ToYou, a super app startup in Saudi Arabia, hires Moelis for funds raising
Investors are backing these types of startups more often in the Middle East: Yassir, Algeria, secured $150 million last Year to expand its super app. Astra Tech purchased the most popular voice-calling app in the Gulf, Botim, earlier this Year. Bloomberg reported that ToYou, Saudi Arabia, recently hired Moelis & Co. for funding.
Vodafone’s Top Supporter Searches for Global Deals in Quest for Growth
Emirates Telecom, formerly Etisalat but now rebranded as e&, is trying to reinvent itself as a global investor in technology. The group’s chief executive officer told Bloomberg TV that the company has the “capacity” and the “wallet” to do so. It was Vodafone’s largest investor last year.