Uber acquires Middle East competitor for £2.3bn

Ride-hailing service Uber said it has acquired its Middle East competitor Careem for 3.1 billion US dollars (£2.3 billion), making it the largest-ever technology purchase in the region.

Uber said the deal consists of 1.7 billion dollars (£1.2 billion) in convertible notes and 1.4 billion dollars (£1 billion) in cash.

Uber app
Uber app

The deal will make Careem a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, operating as an independent company under the Careem brand and led by its original founders.

Dubai-based Careem is among the Middle East’s most successful start-ups. Careem is popular across the Middle East in part because it introduced the option for riders to pay by cash rather than just credit card.

Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement the purchase expands the US-based company’s strength around the world.