Careem, an MEA-focussed taxi hailing app, raised $350 million in the first stage of its latest funding round, led by investments from Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten and Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC).
In a statement, Careem said it had now closed the first tranche of the $500 million round, with the funding due to be used to create a million jobs, expand the company’s geographic reach and fund R&D.
Rakuten’s head of ride sharing and Fintech investments, Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, and an STC group executive will join Careem’s board of directors as part of the financing deal.
Careem was established in 2012 and now operates in 47 cities across 11 countries, with over six million users and 150,000 drivers in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia regions. It has previously raised around $72 million.
Khaled Biyari, CEO at STC, said its investment “is a clear bet on the future of mobility, strategic adjacencies, and Careem’s technology leadership in the region.”
STC’s investment follows hot on the heels of an announcement revealing it had acquired a 10 per cent stake in Careem for $100 million.