Careem to invest $100m in R&D hubs
App-based car service Careem plans to expand in Egypt and Germany to improve user experience
Careem, the UAE's app-based car service, has unveiled its research and development (R&D) strategy, as-well-as its plans for global expansion.
Over the course of the next five years, the company will invest $100m in R&D hubs in Egypt and Germany, plus continue to grow its teams in the UAE and Pakistan.
Magnus Olsson, co-founder and chief navigator at Careem, said: "Over the last few years, the region has witnessed a surge in technological innovation and has become home to rapidly growing technology start-ups.
"These start-ups are using technology to improve the lives of people in the region. Careem is committed to continue innovating to offer the region a safe and reliable transportation option. In order to do that, we have to double-down on R&D, which is why we have announced this investment today."
As part of its strategy, Careem is aiming to expand its engineering footprint in Pakistan, by acquiring 50 engineers from VentureDive, a firm that invests in technology services. The team will work on improving user experience, quality and performance of the Careem app.
Atif Azim, CEO of VentureDive, added: "We are thrilled to see that a technology team we incubated is being acquired by Careem, a regional institution backed by global investors. This helps validate our mission of creating products of global prominence out of Pakistan, and takes us a step closer to our vision of creating a technology organisation and an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region that are recognised as second to none in the world."
Furthermore, the R&D centre in Germany aims to offer Careem access to a global talent pool and the start-up scene.
Careem was founded in 2012 by Mudassir Sheikha and Magnus Olsson, ex-McKinsey consultants, and Dr. Abdulla Elyas. At present, it has 3m registered users, more than 50,000 captains and is backed by investors Saudi Telecom Ventures, Al Tayyar Travel, The Abraaj Group, Beco Capital, Impulse, Lumia Capital and Wamda Capital.