09 September, 2013

Careem, the UAE-based ground transportation technology startup, receives US$ 1.7m investment in a round led by STC Ventures

Dubai, September 9, 2013: Careem, a UAE-based chauffeur-driven car booking service, currently serving Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Riyadh on

L_R - Managing Directors, Mudassir Sheikha and Magnus Olsson

L_R - Managing Directors, Mudassir Sheikha and Magnus Olsson

09 September 2013
Careem announced today that STC Ventures, backed by Saudi Telecom Company, recently led a US$ 1.7 million investment round in the company that also included prominent regional angel investors to expand its car booking service across the Middle East.

Dubai, September 9, 2013: Careem, a UAE-based chauffeur-driven car booking service, currently serving Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Riyadh on careem.com and through its mobile apps, plans to use the cash infusion to strengthen its operating platform and expand to other cities of the Middle East.

Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder of Careem based in Dubai noted, "We are very excited to have STC Ventures as an investor and partner. This investment will accelerate our regional expansion plans and further strengthen our operating platform that needs to cater to relatively complex logistics of the region."

Careem, which was started by Magnus Olsson and Mudassir Sheikha, both former consultants at McKinsey & Company, has experienced rapid growth in its first year of operation. Careem's customers, which include many businesses and relatively affluent consumers, can book a car for a precise time in the future or order it on-demand through Careem's website or its mobile apps. It currently has 1000+ cars across its network in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Riyadh.

"Our customer feedback has been fantastic. More than 90% of our customers consistently rate our service 5 out of 5 and user referrals are the biggest source of our growth. We are looking forward to making our service available to more countries and consumers across the region", added Careem co-founder, Magnus Olsson.

Angus Paterson, Partner at STC Ventures, commented on the announcement saying, "In Careem, we found a start-up that is leveraging technology to solve a real problem in the region, bringing tangible benefits to consumers and businesses. The company is led by an exceptional team who have achieved impressive traction in a very short space of time. We are thrilled to be onboard their next phase of growth."

The Careem deal was worked on by Angus Paterson and Alex Wiedmer of Iris Capital, manager of STC Ventures.

About Careem
Careem, a UAE-based ground transportation technology company, makes ordering chauffeur-driven cars reliable, safe, convenient, and affordable. Its customers can order a chauffeur-driven car on careem.com or through Careem's proprietary mobile apps, track their rides in real-time, pay with credit cards, and access receipts online. Established in July 2012, Careem is focused on serving the Middle East market and currently operates in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi markets and is set to expand into further regional territories. The team behind Careem is spread between Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Karachi, Boston, and San Francisco. 
Website: www.careem.com

About STC Ventures
STC Ventures is a venture capital fund, independently managed by Iris Capital, whose anchor investor is the STC Group. STC Ventures is focused on equity investments in the information technology, telecommunications, and digital media/entertainment sectors; seeking support the development of innovative technology companies in Saudi Arabia, the GCC, Levant, North Africa and Turkey, in addition to funding globally minded international companies seeking capital and access to the MENA region. STC Group is the largest telecommunications company in MENA and was recently ranked in the top 20 mobile networks in the world. STC Group serves 170 million subscribers across Saudi Arabia and nine external markets, spanning Turkey, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and South Africa.
Website: www.stcventures.com

About Iris Capital
Iris Capital is a pan-European venture capital fund manager specializing in digital economy. Since its inception in 1986, the Iris Capital team has invested more than US$ 1.3 billion million in more than 200 companies. Iris Capital targets opportunities in service or technology companies, seeking growth capital in order to realize their strategy. It provides active support to its portfolio companies on the basis of its strong sector specialization and experience, and has offices in Paris, Düsseldorf, San Francisco, Montreal, Riyadh, Dubai, Beijing and Tokyo.
Website: www.iriscapital.com

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For more information contact:
Gemma Mckeown, Marketing Director, Careem              
gemma@caree,.com     
+971 50 5541806

John Hobday/Martine Silve, FTI Consulting
John.hobday@fticonsulting.com/martine.silve@fticonsulting.com
+971 4 437 2100

© Press Release 2013