Careem Celebrates 5 Years of Operations

Careem marks an important milestone in its rapid growth story as it celebrates five years of success in the region and making lives simpler for millions of people.

While Careem did a test launch in Pakistan in October 2015, in UAE it started operations on July 21, 2012. In just five years, Careem has grown its presence to more than 80 cities in the broader MENATP region, growing at over 30% month-on-month during this period.

While doing so, it has turned itself into one of the region’s biggest homegrown success stories, drawing in a steady stream of funding and expertise from renowned regional and international investors to become the region’s sole billion-dollar internet company – and a self-proclaimed ‘unicamel’. In Pakistan, Careem has quickly become a household name as it continues to simply people’s lives.

“We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished in these five years and are humbled by the impact that our technology and our service has had on people’s lives and livelihood, but this is really just the start,” said Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder and CEO of Careem.

However, it’s our Captains who have been the backbone of our company – they are the most important factor in delivering the right quality of experience to our customers, and I would like to take this moment to thank them for driving Careem into the hearts and minds of people across the region during our journey thus far.

Careem currently has more than 250,000 Captains on its roster, many of whom work exclusively with Careem, helping the company expand into new cities and deepen its presence in existing markets.

Building on its commitment to using technology and research to redefine mobility in the Middle East and beyond, Careem has been focusing its efforts on strengthening its innovation capabilities and investing in the future of transportation to create sustainable value for the communities it serves.

Since its inception in July 2012, Careem has delivered a safe and comfortable ride to over 10 million users across the region, and the company currently serves the needs of customers in more than 80 cities in 13 countries.

Throughout its five years of being in business, Careem has kept innovating and evolving with the times, introducing a number of services that have been the first of their kind in the region – such as facial recognition technology to enhance passenger safety, the option for users to pay in cash, a specially tailored car service for people with special needs, a dedicated car for parents that comes pre-installed with a child seat (Careem Kids), and many more.

Along the way, the company has evolved into an active investor in the region’s tech ecosystem, having recently made a $500,000 investment in the Egyptian startup Swvl.

Careem’s path-breaking success in the region has meant that money has kept coming into the company. Last December, Careem secured $500 million in a new round of funding led by high-profile investors such as Rakuten, Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) and Daimler AG, giving it the prestigious ‘unicorn’ status. Careem is currently the sole member of the Middle East’s ‘unicorn’ club.

“We are at a time when tech startups in the Middle East are attracting renewed interest from globally reputable investors, all of which makes the environment ripe for bringing new innovations to market that will transform the way we get around and bring lasting change to the region,” Sheikha said.