Uber said to be in advanced talks to acquire Dubai-based rival Careem

A customer displays the Careem Inc. ride-hailing app while booking a car in this arranged photograph in Islamabad, Pakistan. Photographer: Asad Zaidi/Bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc. is in advanced discussions to buy its Dubai-based rival Careem Networks FZ, a deal that would expand the ride-hailing giant’s operations in the Middle East, according to people familiar with the matter.

The companies may announce a cash-and-shares transaction that values Careem at about $3 billion in the coming weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.

Negotiations are ongoing and no final agreements have been reached, the people said. Representatives for the companies declined to comment.

San Francisco-based Uber is emphasizing growth, investing aggressively in food delivery, logistics, electric bikes and self-driving cars, as it prepares for a potential initial public offering this year. Uber and Careem held preliminary talks in July to combine their Middle Eastern ride-hailing services, hoping to resolve a costly rivalry in the region, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

Careem, whose backers include Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s investment firm and Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc., was valued at about $1 billion in a 2016 funding round, making it one of the most valuable technology startups in the Middle East.

The company has more than a million drivers and operates in more than 100 cities in the Middle East, according to its website.

Also read:

Prince Alwaleed’s investment firm backs Careem-Uber merger talks

Dubai government to launch taxi venture with Uber rival Careem

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.