First Published: 2017-06-15

Saudi's Kingdom Holding buys 7% of Careem ride app
Kingdom Holding acquires seven percent share in car ride-hailing business Careem, valuing transaction at $62 million.
Middle East Online

Careem driver checks the app before driving her car in Islamabad, Pakistan

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding Co said Thursday it has bought a stake in car ride-hailing business Careem, its latest venture in the booming sector.

Kingdom Holding, chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, acquired a seven percent share in the firm, valuing the transaction at $62 million.

Dubai's Abraaj Group said in a separate statement that it has divested its shareholding in Careem.

It did not give the size of the stake but confirmed it has been acquired by Kingdom Holding, a diversified Riyadh-based global investor.

The firm has stakes in a variety of sectors, including banking, through Citigroup, and media with Time Warner.

In 2015, Kingdom Holding invested more than $100 million in Lyft, a San Francisco-based rival to another US-based ride-hailing operation, Uber, which is a smartphone app that connects passengers and drivers.

"Our investment in Careem is a continuation of our strategy to invest in new technologies", as it has already done with Lyft and stakes in Twitter and JD.com, Kingdom Holding's CEO Talal al-Maiman said in a statement.

"Careem sets an example for regional businesses by providing employment opportunities to locals and developing talent," he said.

Car booking apps are popular in Saudi Arabia, particularly among women who are banned from driving in the country.

As part of a wideranging plan to diversify its oil-dependent economy and give more jobs to Saudis, the kingdom is trying to develop its digital infrastructure and broaden its investment base.

In December, the largest Saudi telecommunication firm, STC, said it would buy a 10 percent stake in Careem for $100 million.

Uber announced in June last year that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund would inject $3.5 billion to help the app's global expansion.

Rival Careem operates in the Middle East and surrounding region.

 

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Israel freezes implementation of settlement law

Erdogan meddles in German politics

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

Civilians stay on frontlines despite dangers in Raqa

Low-cost attacks a new reality for Europeans

Forces of Libya's Haftar say commander wanted by ICC in detention

Yemen rebels urged to free political commentator

Iranian footballer breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert

For Israel, White House ties trump neo-Nazis and antisemitism

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers

Syrian actress, activist Fadwa Suleiman dies in Paris

Israeli court extends detention for Islamic cleric over ‘incitement’

UAE to provide $15 million a month to Gaza

Sudan's Bashir 'satisfied' with Nile dam project

US-backed rebels say American presence in Syria to last ‘decades’

Tunisian clerics oppose equal inheritance rights for women

Israel strikes almost 100 Hezbollah arms convoys in 5 years

UN hopes for eighth round of Syria talks before year’s end

LONG READ: How Syria continues to evade chemical weapons justice

Civilians killed in US-led raids on Raqa

Qatari pilgrims begin flooding into Saudi by land

Turkey arrests 9 more journalists for alleged ‘Gulen links’

Iran’s Karroubi on hunger strike over 6-year house arrest

Saudi Arabia to restart work on Grand Mosque expansion

Algeria reshuffles cabinet, nominates three new ministers

Syria rebels lose heavyweight faction

ICC orders Mali ex-jihadist pay 2.7 m euros for Timbuktu destruction

Libya seeks to ‘organise’ NGOs carrying migrant rescue Ops

More than one million South Sudan refugees in Uganda

Beirut, Damascus pledge to boost economic ties

Two killed on Gaza-Egypt border

Qataris to do hajj on Saudi king expenses

Fire breaks out at UNESCO heritage site in Saudi Arabia

Iran military chief in Turkey for talks on Syrian war

Saudi Electricity announces $1.75b in international loans

Israel to strip Jazeera journalist of press credentials

Bahrain state media accuses Qatar of trying to topple regime