Uber unit Careem sees ride-hailing recovery next year

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

Careem, a unit of Uber Technologies, expects ride-hailing demand to recover to pre-pandemic levels “some time” in 2021, encouraged by a better-than-expected pickup as countries started to ease coronavirus-related curbs.

“It’s been a tough couple of months,” Careem Chief Executive Mudassir Sheikha told Reuters on Sunday.

“It’s really anyone’s guess. We have planned for recovery (in ride-hailing) sometime next year but … the recovery has begun and the recovery has been faster already than our initial projections.”

The company, which primarily operates in the Middle East, has seen its overall business, which also includes delivery services such as take-away food, recover at an almost double-digit rate week-on-week over the past two months as countries eased restrictions, he said.

“I’m actually quite bullish on the rest of the year and the next few years as a result of some of the restrictions that were put on our movement and the growth it led to in the adoption of digital platforms.”

Dubai-headquartered Careem will fast-track plans to add more features to its ‘Super App’ that has expanded to also include some payment services.

It announced on Sunday it had signed a multi-year agreement with Visa that will see Visa push payment services become available through the app.

Careem, which was bought by Uber last year for $3.1 billion, shed nearly a third of its workforce as a result of the pandemic, laying off 536 staff.

“We did a lot of things in our business in the last three months that now position us well for any future disruptions were they to come,” Sheikha said.

Reuters

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.

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.