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Dubai Car Rental Service Udrive Shifts to Fifth Gear With $5M Funding

Eyeing a MENA expansion, Udrive is set to capitalise upon demand for car-sharing services as populations return to in-office work.

Dubai-based pay-per-minute car rental service, Udrive, has raised $5 million in a Series B funding round, with plans to use the new funds to double the size of its fleet over the next three months.

Led by regional investors and venture capitalists, the round featured Cherif Sleiman, the vice president of international business at Infoblox, and Asif Keshodia, the former chief financial officer of Souq.com.

Founded in 2016 by Hasib Khan, Udrive introduced the concept of pay-per-minute rentals into the region and witnessed the materialisation of a dramatic growth through its rapid scaling, going on to serve 250,000 UAE-based users and completing 1.4 million trips.

Following the closure of the recent round, Khan hailed the company’s recovery from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “as people return to work, we’re once again seeing an increased need for mobility.”

“Whether for health and safety reasons, or the cost benefits,” he continued, referring to the estimated 25% savings for customers compared to traditional driving costs, “these individuals fully recognise the value of Udrive’s service.”

“The ability to avoid large capital costs associated with owning a vehicle while still having the convenience, and the ability to enjoy the driving experience is especially attractive to expats, which make up a large portion of the population in the UAE and broader GCC region.”

The company is also set to use the new funds for enhancing its platform’s data analytics capacities, including providing greater transparency for customers.

Primarily, though, it is focused on expanding across the wider MENA region - including in Turkey - over the next six months, seeking to capitalise upon the demand for car-sharing services.

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