Kingdom Holding Company acquires 7% stake in Careem for $62M

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, acquired a 7% stake in Careem through a Secondary Share purchase as well as participating in the latest Primary Round E-1 Capital Raise amounting to a total transaction value of $62M. The transaction makes KHC one of the largest holders of Preferred Shares in Careem and will grant KHC a board seat on Careem’s board of directors. The Secondary Shares were acquired from the Abraaj Group (“Abraaj” or the “Group”), a leading investor operating in growth markets, which divested its shareholding in Careem (“Careem” or the “Company”), one of the region’s leading transportation businesses, to Kingdom Holding Company.

KHC’s CEO Eng. Talal Ibrahim Al Maiman: “Our investment in Careem is a continuation of our strategy to invest in new technologies as we have done with our investments in Twitter, JD.com and Lyft. As the leading ride hailing company in the region, and positioned with excellent growth prospects, Careem sets an example for regional businesses by providing employment opportunities to locals and developing talent.”

Eng. Al Maiman continued: “KHC has nominated its current CFO Mohamed Fahmy Soliman to represent KHC on Careem’s board.”

Founded in Dubai in 2012, Careem has grown to be one of the leading transportation and ride hailing businesses across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan (“MENATP”) region. The Company originally established a web-based car booking service for corporates in the United Arab Emirates. It evolved rapidly into the region’s dominant provider with continued ambitions to reshape the region’s transportation and ‘people logistics’ space. The Company has achieved steady double digit growth since inception and continues to expand. As of June 2017, Careem is active in over 80 cities, up from 20 at the time of Abraaj’s investment in 2015.

The MENATP region represents a compelling investment opportunity given the size of the consumer market and the industry’s pace of growth. Careem is a unique homegrown regional champion. By continuously innovating and tailoring its offerings for the local market, such as the first to offer cash payments in markets where credit card penetration is low, and enabling passengers to pre-book services, Careem continued to hold and gain market share across its target cities.

Commenting on the exit, Ahmed Badreldin, Partner and Head of Middle East and North Africa at The Abraaj Group, said: “We recognized the opportunity for Careem to scale and rapidly grow its offering across the region. We are proud of the rapid advancements the Company made based on our investment and partnership. The markets in which Careem operates benefit from a combined GDP of US$3.6 trillion, representing a populous and connected economy, and one that will increasingly benefit from the services that Careem provides. We wish the Company, its investors and new partners every success as they continue to take this dynamic business forward.” The Abraaj Group manages US$ 10 billion in assets and is focused on investment strategies across private equity, private credit, impact investing and real estate.

Mudassir Sheikha, Co-Founder of Careem added, “The Abraaj Group has been a great partner for us over the past two years, and the company’s unique regional insights and global resources has been a major contributor to our current success. We will continue to expand, innovate, lead and serve our mission of simplifying the lives of people in the region.”

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