Telecoms giant to buy stake in cab-hailing firm Careem

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Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s main phone company, STC, plans to buy a 10% stake in cab-hailing firm Careem.

Based in Dubai, Careem is a rival to Uber and has developed a strong presence in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan.

Such cab-booking firms are particularly popular with women in Saudi Arabia, who are not allowed to drive.

In a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange, STC said the stake would cost it $100m (£80m).

“This move is in line with the company strategy to invest in the innovative digital world, which helps the company to provide additional valuable and innovative products,” STC said in a statement.

Careem was founded in 2012 by two former management consultants at McKinsey, Magnus Olsson and Mudassir Sheikha.

STC is the biggest provider of phone services in the Middle East and North Africa.

However, its investment in Careem is dwarfed by the $3.5bn that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund invested in Uber in June.

That money will be partly used to expand Uber’s presence in the Middle East.



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