The Middle East (and global) ride-hailing technology space has taken an exciting turn as the Dubai-headquartered Careem announced a strategic partnership with Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, with the latter making an undisclosed investment in the company as well. According to a statement on the deal, this marks Didi's first collaboration in the MENA region, and Careem expects the endorsement to “strengthen its leading market position, and further enhance its reliable transportation offerings across the region.”
“Didi Chuxing brings leading edge AI capabilities, insight and expertise to our organization as we enter our next phase of growth” says Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder and CEO, Careem, in the statement. “This evolution in our long relationship will enable Careem to more effectively pursue growth opportunities through continued innovation and sustainability. DiDi’s investment is yet another endorsement of the significant regional opportunity to leap-frog traditional infrastructure and improve the lives of people in our communities.”
“Careem is the region’s technology and market leader,” noted Cheng Wei, founder and CEO, Didi Chuxing. “Through technology exchange and co-development, we look to support continued growth and transformation of the region’s transportation industry, tap into the significant potential of the local internet economy and foster more innovative services for a broader network of communities around the world."
As reported by Techcrunch, the Careem-Didi partnership is an extension of Didi’s current global empire as well as its continuing push against its biggest rival in the business, Uber, with it having recently made an undisclosed investment in Taxify, another Uber-like service operating in Europe and Africa. Not just that, Didi also holds stake in Lyft in the US, in India’s Ola Cabs, 99 in Latin America, and Southeast Asia’s Grab, besides owning equity in Uber itself, through the acquisition of Uber’s China business in 2016.