News Desk |
Uber Technologies Inc. and Careem Networks FZ are in initial talks to combine these ride-hailing services, hoping to resolve a costly rivalry as Uber prepares for a public offering next year, according to sources close to both companies.
Uber has sold operations in various countries and insisted that it was done selling off its global business piecemeal. According to various sources, Uber has said that it would need to own more than half of the combined company, if not buy Careem outright.
Careem operates in more than 70 cities across at least 10 countries from North Africa to Pakistan and is a leader in most of them.
Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said at a conference in May that he believed Uber would come out on top in India, the Middle East, and Africa. “We are going to be, I believe, the winning player in those markets and we’re going to control our own destiny,” Khosrowshahi said.
Both Uber and Careem are drawing down their presence in various countries with the former selling off its rights in Singapore.
Careem operates in more than 70 cities across at least 10 countries from North Africa to Pakistan and is a leader in most of them. Its biggest market is Saudi Arabia, where Uber has been pushing plans to sign up female drivers to take advantage of the kingdom’s decision to overturn a ban on women behind the wheel.
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is a large investor in Uber, after acquiring a $3.5 billion stake in the company in 2016. Many Saudi Princes have also invested heavily in these rides hailing firms.