Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and German automotive multinational Daimler are among the investors in a $500m fundraising round by Dubai-based ride app Careem.
The round, which also saw participation from DCM Ventures and New York-based Coatue Management LLC, valued Careem at $1bn, the company said.
Read more: Careem Applies for Smart Application License
Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding investment vehicle acquired a 7.11 per cent stake in Careem for $67m through he purchase of shares from existing investor Abraaj Group.
It will also get a seat on Careem’s board.
Careem announced its expansion into Palestine this week as it continues to grow its presence across the Middle East and North Africa.
It currently operates ride services in more than 80 cities and has recently expanded its offering to include courier services in some markets.
“The opportunity for further expansion in this region is huge, not just broadening and deepening our presence in the broader Middle East markets, but also in driving innovation that can have a meaningful impact on our communities,” said founder and CEO Mudassir Sheikha after the announcement.
Read more: Careem Announces Launch In Palestine
“KHC and Daimler AG both bring deep-pockets and a long-term perspective on global technology adoption, and we are excited to welcome them on this journey to improve the lives of people in the Middle East.”
Sheikha previously indicated the company was seeking acquisitions and potential exit options for investors including an IPO after it announced a $350m round in December backed by Saudi Telecom.
Careem’s rival Uber is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
By Robert Anderson
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