In a move that follows its recent investment in Taxify, Chinese ride-hailing firm DiDi Chuxing has announced an investment deal with Careem, one of Uber’s biggest rivals in the Middle East. DiDi’s investment in Taxify was made to cement its presence in Europe and Africa, but its move with Careem could only mean that it has plans for our region. DiDi has been making rounds around the world, with shares in Lyft in the USA, Ola in India, Grab from Southeast Asia and it even owns equity in Uber itself.
What the DiDi investment in Careem means
Besides giving it the potential to improve and expand its services via acquisitions and global partnerships, a deal with Careem can help DiDi apply considerable pressure on Uber. The Chinese tech giant can lend its wealth of expertise and resources to Careem and others thanks to its considerable experience in the field.
Careem’s CEO Mudassir Sheikha thinks DiDi Chuxing’s “leading edge AI capabilities, insight and expertise” will help Careem expand and grow over the next few years.
After this investment, DiDi claims that it now covers more than 60 per cent of the worlds population thanks to its global network.
Careem: A Brief History
Careem is an app-based ride-sharing service that connects people to rides easily and quickly all via a smartphone or similar device. The local Uber rival was founded in 2012 by Abdulla Elyas, Mudassir Sheikha and Magnus Olsson.
Careem started in Dubai and has since grown to more than 80 cities and 13 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and even Asia. The company’s mission is to simplify people’s lives through reliable, convenient and affordable urban transport.
DiDi Chuxing: Who or What is DiDi?
Also founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei, DiDi is the currently the world’s largest mobile transportation service platform. It offers a variety of options when it comes to transportation across more than 400 major Chinese cities. These options include hailing taxis, private cars, a social ride-sharing service called Hitch, Chauffeurs, DiDi Bus, DiDi Test Drive and DiDi Enterprise Solutions.
In 2015, DiDi completed a total of 1.43 billion rides on its platform while helping to solve the country’s transportation and environmental challenges. In February 2016, DiDi became the world’s second largest online transaction platform, second to Alibaba, also from China.