Startup of the Week: ekar – The App That Makes You Own the Road

Published June 14th, 2021 - 08:45 GMT
Startup of the Week: ekar – The App That Makes You Own the Road
Vilhelm Hedberg, ,founder of ekar. (Twitter)

Did you just move to the UAE and you can’t make up your mind on whether you should invest in a car or not? Are the ride-hailing apps and taxi services in UAE draining your bank account? Have you ever needed a car for just a couple of hours and didn’t want to end up renting one for an entire day? It seems that ekar heard your “Yes” to these questions and decided to solve all your issues with their one of a kind mobile app!

Middle East’s first and largest self-drive mobility company, ekar was founded in 2016 by Ravi Bhusari and Vilhelm Hedberg with the focus on providing convenience, flexibility and seamless experience for their customers. Hence, they created a platform that offers users on-demand access to a network of thousands of vehicles via its user-friendly mobile app. With ekar, users get to choose whether they want to pay per minute, hour, daily, weekly or even monthly with prices as low as 60 fils per minute. To simplify the users’ experience further, customers get to pick up and drop off their rented car at any location at any time. And in case the customer wasn’t happy with their rented car, they can switch or upgrade their car at any time! It’s worth mentioning that with ekar, there are no down-payments and no long-term commitments since you pay-as-you-go. 

The UAE-based startup began their “road trip” in Dubai, and made it to Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, AlAin, and Riyadh. After securing $17.5 million in November 2019, ekar is determined to expand in the Saudi market as it sees the demand for its services in the kingdom continuing to grow.

The flourishing startup was awarded GCC Car Sharing Providers Company of The Year in 2019 by Frost & Sullivan, Top 5 Startups in 2018 by Forbes Middle East, and Founder Vilhelm Hedberg has been crowned SME Leader of the Year 2019 by Arabian Business.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ekar 🇦🇪 (@ekar.uae)

In November 2020, ekar launched its innovative ‘ekar Fleet’ product, a SaaS platform enabling car rental and leasing companies to instantly enable their vehicles onto the ekar app and benefit from a fully contactless rental process, increased  fleet utilization, driver behavior analytics, and tracking of vehicles in real-time. This new program managed to increase fleet size and add thousands of new cars to the ekar platform. Thus, consumers were provided with new models of both combustible and electric vehicles from economy to premium. And in May 2021, ekar took upgraded their game to a new level where they partnered with CarPro, a rental fleet management platform, to enable car rental and leasing companies with over 500,000 rental cars to digitally rent cars via the ekar platform.


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