Careem’s $400M deal signals Middle East telecoms becoming go-to tech investors


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Samuel Wendel

Senior Market Research Analyst, Al-Monitor


May 1, 2023

Bottom Line:

No longer just the regional ride-hailing upstart that challenged Uber, Dubai’s Careem is now morphing into a super app offering numerous services. Various investors powered that journey, but one type in particular stands out: telecoms. Saudi telecom giant STC backed Careem in earlier days and now the UAE’s e& (formerly known as Etisalat) is injecting $400 million into the company. The landmark deal positions Careem as the region’s leading “everything app” amid rising competition, but it’s also a sign of the times for e& — the regional telecom behemoth seeks to reinvent itself as a global tech and investment group, a strategy seeing it snap up local startups and tech assets. The Careem deal is just the latest and largest, and signals that the Middle East’s leading telecoms will be increasingly active regional tech investors as they attempt to capture growth from digital services.   

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