China's Didi Chuxing invests in Uber's Middle East rival Careem

China's Didi Chuxing invests in Uber's Middle East rival Careem

China's Didi Chuxing invests in Uber's Middle East rival Careem

Didi Chuxing CEO Cheng Wei said "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".

Though Didi is primarily known in its native China, where it claims 400 million users, it has made no secret of its plans to build a "sustainable global mobility ecosystem" through a number of initiatives, including partnerships and investments.

Dubai-based ride-hailing app Careem announced today an investment from Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride-sharing giant.

Careem and DiDi declined to comment on the size of the Chinese company's investment in Careem.

"Didi Chuxing brings leading edge artificial intelligence capabilities, insight and expertise to our organisation as we enter our next phase of growth", said Mudassir Sheikha, the co-founder and chief executive of Careem. The company has been setting up similar deals in Latin America, and with the USA ride-hailing app Lyft.

"Consolidating our leadership position in the MENA region, we will continue to pioneer local solutions and develop the right technologies that are able to have a meaningful impact on the communities in which we operate".

It is ahead of Uber in Pakistan and a strong second player to Uber in other regional markets, according to research firm SimilarWeb, which tracks consumer mobile and web usage habits. The funding gave the company a valuation of $1 billion, making it the Middle East's first tech "unicorn".

Other investors include the Kuwait Investment Authority and vehicle company Daimler.

Last week, Didi Chuxing invested in Taxify, a ride-hailing company based in Europe and Africa. The company has widened its global reach through strategic alliances and investments in other major ride-hailing service operators. Didi did not disclose the specific sum it invested. It also owns equity in Uber courtesy of the unique terms of the acquisition of the Uber China business previous year.

Villig said that after Didi Chuxing's investment, Taxify is actively dealing with employing new people.

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