According to four persons familiar with the situation, Uber Technologies (UBER.N) is in negotiations with the management of its Middle East company Careem to bring in outside investors.
The ownership structure of Careem following the potential investment was not immediately apparent, however, insiders claimed Uber would remain a stakeholder while giving Careem’s management more control over the company’s strategy.
According to two sources, the investment would be used to fund the expansion of Careem’s “Super App,” which includes services like food delivery, digital payments, and courier services in addition to its main ride-hailing operation.
According to one of the individuals, Careem’s management sought to expand its Super App – of which co-founder and CEO Mudassir Sheikha has long been a supporter – while Uber was only focused on ride-hailing.
Both Uber and Careem declined to comment on the matter.
The anticipated shift comes a little over two years after Uber paid $3.1 billion for its Dubai-based rival, which mostly serves the Middle East while keeping the brand and app intact.
Sheikha, a former McKinsey executive, co-founded Careem in 2012 and served as its CEO until Uber acquired the company in 2019.
It was not immediately apparent how much money would be sought, but one of the individuals said Careem would use the fresh capital to expand its payments and delivery operations.
According to one of the insiders, the new Careem firm might eventually be listed.
Uber’s purchase of Careem in 2019 gave the American firm market domination in the Middle East and Pakistan, ahead of its first public offering in the same year, which earned $8.1 billion in funding and valued the company at $82.4 billion.
Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing and delivery company, and a self-described “super app,” went public last week after a record $40 billion merger with a blank-check company.
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