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Careem Scores $200 Million From Saudi Investors Among Others

The Dubai-based ride-hailing app is expecting raise more than $500 million to expand its operations.

UAE-born ride-hailing company Careem announced today that it secured $200 million in fresh funding from existing investors, however the Middle East's first and only unicorn is not settling and expects to raise more than $500 million to better finance its expansion plans.

The funding came from existing investors, including  Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding, Al Tayyar Group, STV and Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. Careem has several other global financial backers such as German car maker Daimler and China’s largest ride-hailing company DiDi Chuxing.

“Internet-enabled services are having a profound and positive impact on our region, where the consumer internet opportunity is huge and untapped,” says Careem's co-founder and chief executive Mudassir Sheikha. Uber's fiercest regional rival  has expanded into new markets this year such as Sudan and started prototyping food delivery services after buying a restaurant listing and reservation online platform.

In July, Careem announced that it's raising $150 million to join the food delivery rivalry. With 24 million registered users, Careem planned to operate its food delivery service  starting from Pakistan in September, then other countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt were scheduled to follow.

Also in July, Bloomberg reported that Careem and Uber were in talks to merge operations in the region, however they weren't settled on a structure yet. Following an aggressive competition between DiDi Chuxing and Uber in China, the latter was cornered to sell its shares and dismiss its operations in the country earlier this year. 

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