Dubai-based ride-hailing firm Careem Networks FZ, Uber’s rival in the Middle East, has acquired Indian mass transportation app Commut in a bid to further expand into mass transport in the region, it announced on Monday. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
As part of the deal, Careem will take over Commut’s talent and technology, while Commut’s local operations including its customers and driver-partners will be taken over by Shuttl – a shuttle service provider in India. Careem plans to roll out its bus services across 100 cities, it said in a statement. The development comes close on the heels of recent reports that Uber Technologies Inc. is in talks to buy Careem for over $2 billion to expand presence in the Middle East. Last week, Bloomberg reported that negotiations are ongoing and Careem’s management is working to convince the firm’s shareholders of the merits of a deal. Commenting on the acquisition, Careem Co-founder and Chief Experience Officer, Magnus Olsson said, “Mass transportation is one of the biggest issues facing many of the fast growing cities in our region. Solving it will help to simplify lives and create affordable transport options that can be a catalyst for moving cities forward.” “As a leading tech company from the region, we are always looking to invest in new technologies and the right people to help solve complex local problems. Commut have a successful track record in mass transportation, and we are excited to bring their expertise into the Careem family.”
Established in July 2012, Careem is the region’s only unicorn operating in more than 100 cities across 14 countries including United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Pakistan, Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, Palestine, Iraq and Sudan. Its app lets customers book rides on cars, bikes, golf carts, boats and rickshaws as well as schedule deliveries. “As Careem expands across its technology platform, we will continue to acquire and invest in high impact, relevant and values driven technology businesses and start-ups that can accelerate growth. And with more people moving to cities in which we operate, our transport solutions are going to play an even greater part in solving the increasing mass-mobility problems,” the company said.