Careem Continues Its Platformization Strategy By Acquiring Hyderabad-Based Commut
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Careem, once the MENA’s first ride-hailing service, has made an additional step towards becoming the region’s first internet-commerce-enabling platform.
Careem’s acquisition of Commut, a tech-driven bus shuttle service which has been operational in Hyderabad since November 2015, will accelerate Careem’s expansion into mass transportation through the addition of bus services across its 100 cities in India.
The deal value has not been disclosed. Backed by UK-Based Shell-Foundation and 50K Ventures, Commut is a tech driven bus shuttle service that has served over 70,000 customers and 750,000 trips within 100+ existing routes in Hyderabad. Its local operations have now been taken over by Shuttl, a shuttle service provider in India.
“Mass transportation is one of the biggest issues facing many of the fast-growing cities in our region,” said Magnus Olsson, co-founder and Chief Experience Officer at Careem, in a press release. “Solving it will help to simplify lives and create affordable transport options that can be a catalyst for moving cities forward. As a leading tech company from the region, we are always looking to invest in new technologies and the right people to help solve complex local problems.”
Careem’s network consists of more than 3,500 employees, 24 million users and 1,000,000 Captains across more than 100 cities in 14 countries. However, the company now aims to build a technology ecosystem on top of its current infrastructure by acquiring and investing in high impact technology businesses.
Recently, Careem expanded into food and package delivery services. In addition, it has been reported that the company is testing its own bus-booking service in Egypt.
The new business model is expected to transform Careem into a platform business more focused on the connections it enables than on its individual products and services. According to different authors, examples of successful platform models include Airbnb, Uber, eBay, Alibaba, and Salesforce.com.
Careem still hasn’t officially commented on its alleged acquisition negotiations with Uber Technologies Inc. The expected value of this deal could be US$2 billion or more, according to Bloomberg.