Dubai-based taxi app Careem has received an investment from Didi Chuxing, one of the world’s largest mobile transportation platforms.

Announcing the agreement, Careem said that as part of a strategic partnership between the two companies, Didi Chuxing made an investment in the app firm to “strengthen its leading market position”.

So far, the amount invested remains unknown.

“Didi Chuxing’s decision to buy into Careem’s growth story heralds a strategic alliance between two of the world’s fastest-growing ride-hailing services, who are leaders in their respective markets. Resources and synergies from this alliance will be directed towards new opportunities for growth, market expansion and innovation,” Mudassir Shaikha, CEO and co-founder of Careem said.

With a valuation of approximately $1 billion, Careem is the Middle East’s most valuable start-up.

“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,” Shaikha added.

Famous for defeating Uber in China and forcing the US-based company to sell its business to them in August 2016, Didi provides taxis, private cars and other mobility options to over 400 million users in 400 cities, with a daily ride volume surpassing 20 million.

Following its latest round of funding in April 2017, the Chinese technology company was valued at over $50 billion.

Didi’s partnership with Careem marks the company’s first collaboration in the Middle East and North Africa and further aids Didi’s mission to expand its business on a global scale.

It is not, however, the company’s first investment abroad.

Just last week Didi invested in Taxify, an Uber competitor operating across Europe and Africa. Taxify joins the ranks of India’s Ola, South East Asia’s Grab and Lyft in the US, all having received investment from the Chinese company.

“Growing urban populations and economic and social diversity in the MENA region present enormous opportunities for the ride-hailing economy,” said Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of Didi Chuxing.

“Careem is the region’s technology and market leader. 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,” Wei added.

In the five years since Careem was founded, the company has branched out to more than 80 cities across 13 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, raising $572 million in funding along the way.

Source: Gulf News

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