Uber's Middle East rival Careem launches bus-booking service in Egypt

Reuters , Monday 3 Dec 2018

A file photo of Careem Application ( Photo:Reuters)

Middle East ride-hailing company Careem said on Monday that it has launched a bus-booking service in Egypt and would soon expand it into Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Users of the ‘Careem Bus’ app select their pick-up and drop-off location and track the bus along dedicated routes, the Dubai-based company said in a statement.

The service offers fixed rate fares between 60 percent and 70 percent cheaper than those of the car service.

The launch comes more than a year after Careem invested $500,000 in Egyptian tech start-up Swvl, which offers bus booking services on its own mobile app. Careem said it has since divested the stake.

Swvl announced last month it was planning to expand to Southeast Asia after securing “tens of millions of dollars” in its latest funding round.

Careem competes in many major Middle Eastern cities with San Francisco-headquartered Uber Technologies.

Reuters reported last month that Careem has been working with investment bank Jefferies as an adviser on investment options and fundraising, including a potential merger and acquisition deal in the region with Uber.

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