Since its introduction in Pakistan, Careem has gone from strength to strength. Whether it’s securing funding to become only the second unicorn in the region or giving Uber a run for its money, the company has secured its status as one of the hottest startups around.
Careem first came onto the radar over five years ago and is now operating in 50 cities across 11 countries. The Dubai-based organization has created tens of thousands of job opportunities. Right now, it has over 181,000 drivers which it refers to as “captains.”
How Careem Started
The concept behind Careem was not to replicate the services being offered by other startups but to come up with something unique. Alongside the co-founder of Careem, Magnus Olsson, Mudassir was a former consultant at McKinsey.
The duo were working in Dubai and as consultants, they traveled across the world and were faced with the challenges of abhorrent public transport, poor quality vehicles, bargaining with the drivers to lower their fare and feeling insecure when traveling in taxis.
After devising a plan, both Mudassir and Magnus handed in their resignations and invested a lot of their own capital in their venture.
Careem’s Finances and Investment
While many people thought that Pakistan would be a much tougher market to break, support from investors and public has surpassed expectations. Till now, Careem has raised over US $420 million from various investors including Rakuten and Abraaj Capital.
Here is a breakdown of how much money Careem has raised in each successive Series round:
- $1.7 million in 2013
- $10 million in 2014
- $60 million in 2015
- $350 million in 2016
What’s interesting is that Careem’s top 5 cities globally include two from Pakistan: Karachi and Lahore.
Starting from just 100 rides in May of 2015, the company has managed a remarkable achievement of successfully completing 10,000,000 as of May, 2017.
Overall, Careem has successfully served over 8 million customers.