Careem Acquires Savaree

Careem has acquired Savaree, Lahore’s home grown pioneer of car hailing services, said a statement issued by the company. Both companies didn’t disclose the value of the deal, a usual for Pakistani transactions.

Savaree was founded by Madeeha Hassan in Jan 2014. She was reportedly in talks with an investor before news of Uber launching in Pakistan surfaced and the deal fell apart.

With the acquisition going through, Madeeha will be joining Careem’s global product team and be the company’s product lead for Pakistan.

While Careem and Savaree in particular have been operating in Pakistan for some time, the consolidation does not come as a surprise. Madeeha has rejected the chance to work for Uber and Careem both in the past but the Uber juggernaut truly arriving in a market has a way of shaking things up. The company is perfectly content with hemorrhaging money to gain a foothold in new markets.

In China alone, Uber is losing $1 billion a year to compete against local apps. There’s even a global alliance of ride sharing apps that connect with each other to help customers when they visit another country. So is Careem acquiring Savaree an astute move? Absolutely. Despite Savaree being a solid product, it’s almost certainly a talent acquisition. Madeeha knows the Pakistani market inside and out and her expertise will be needed by Careem to become the ride-hailing app of choice for customers.

For commuters, there’s a palpable sense of change in the air. With the Metro and the raft of ride sharing apps gaining a foothold here, the old traditional ways of commuting in rickety rides could eventually be phased out. In this scenario, the battle amongst ride-hailing companies is expected to get big and bloody in both the long and short term. No matter what happens, Pakistani consumers will end up the winners as the result of the increased competition.

Junaid Iqbal, Managing Director of Careem, said:

We have had serious admiration for Madeeha, her grit, her entrepreneurial spirit and her awesome tenacity. She built Savaree from ground up, knows the nuts and bolts of this business and we are super excited to have her on board and lead product innovation for Pakistan. Careem’s strength in the region has been its localization of products, and Madeeha’s addition to the team is a shot in the arm on that front.

Madeeha said:

This is still dream like for me. Hailing from Sadiqabad, graduating in Biotechnology, launching a tech startup, and to be acquired within 2 years, and now to join Careem, which is among the region’s most exciting startups. I see in Careem the same vision and values that I identify with deeply.

Careem has been operating in Pakistan since October 2015 and covers Lahore, Karachi with recent expansion to Islamabad. It’s one of the largest and fastest growing app based car hailing service in the MENA region and raised $60 million last year.

Careem_Savaree

Talal is a Director and the Chief Content Officer at ProPakistani. Reach out at [email protected]...


  • Although this is likely more of a talent acquisition than a product acquisition, it is good to see exits happening in the local market, regardless of how big or small the size.

  • Capacity building in transport sector, in adherence to Road SAfety principles, regulation, taxation major tenets of Win-Win by sponsors, and Governments. Ride Sharing is truly capacity building for our populous urban population rapidly buying their transport with affluence, and convenience. Ride Sharing is optimising resources and should be given full autonomy, relief, exemptions, and tax holidays from Governments, and transport authorities.
    The first thing is to deploy toll collection at Peak Timings from cars, which should be exempted if they’re 4 persons on the car/or reduced charges. If we look at our roads, highways, we feel ashamed with driving the auto, as there is no discipline. Suggest the first thing is to teach road discipline.

  • News of the day for startup enthusiasts, will like to know inner story as she’d already rejected the offers in past

  • Great for start up and for those who are looking for acquisition but Savaree was carpooling and Careem is a car hire. BIG Difference, but good to see things brightening up for young entrepreneurs.
    So the gap that Savaree was going to fill is back once again. Commuters will again contact each other and carpooling is going to be limited to colleagues, friends and same neighborhood poolers.

  • 99SAWARI.COM.PK has offered a new taxi service for Pakistani people having no access to internet and smartphone through its state of the art technology and growing to 10 cities, of which 2 cities Quetta and Karachi are operational since 14th April 2018 and growing it team fastly. SAWARI is offering its services through street level franchises shops using sawari franchise app which help people to get rides near their home or office. People can also book a ride through call center 0310-0011995

  • SAWARI.COM.PK has offered a new taxi service for Pakistani people having no access to internet and smartphone through its state of the art technology and growing to 10 cities, of which 2 cities Quetta and Karachi are operational since 14th April 2018 and growing it team fastly. SAWARI is offering its services through street level franchises shops using sawari franchise app which help people to get rides near their home or office. People can also book a ride through
    call center 0310-0011995

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