Features
5 Dec 22

Careem hits 1 billion rides milestone

Careem, the Dubai-based peer-to-peer ride-hailing service launched in 2012, has surpassed 1 billion rides. The company operates in more than 80 cities in 12 countries across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The regional hero, now a subsidiary of Uber, has recently expanded into food delivery and digital payments. 

Founded by two former McKinsey consultants and starting out as a web service for corporate car bookings, Careem soon evolved into a ride-hailing platform – with its drivers called ‘Careem Captains’. 

Super app

In recent years, the company has both horizontally and vertically expanded its services, building its platform into a ‘super app’ that offers much more than just ridesharing. 

  • In 2018, they became the first ride-hailing service to launch in Baghdad. Careem has since branched out to other locations in Iraq. 
  • In that same year, Careem acquired RoundMenu, a food ordering platform active throughout the Arab world. This service was renamed Careem Now (pictured: a Careem food deliverer)
  • In 2019, Careem acquired Cycle, a bike-sharing startup in the UAE, renamed Careem Bike. 
  • In 2021, Careem launched a digital wallet called Careem Pay. 

Home cleaning

In 2018, the company was valued at $2 billion. In 2020, Uber acquired Careem for $3.1 billion. Today, the company doesn’t only offer ride-hailing, food and grocery deliver, micro-mobility and digital payments, but also, via partnerships, such services as car rental, event bookings, laundry services, and even home cleaning. 

Ride-hailing remains the backbone of the company, though. In its first 10 years (and for its first billion rides), Careem’s Captains have driven more than 9 billion kilometers. The countries with the highest number of Careem rides so far are Pakistan (299 million), Saudi Arabia (242 million) and Egypt (230 million) – those three countries together thus representing more than three quarters of Careem’s billion rides. 

Affordable platform

The billionth Careem trip, however, was undertaken in Qatar. The ‘Careem Captain’ was Razak Uppatil from India. He has been with Careem for four years, and in that time has driven more than 10,000 trips for the platform. As reward for his trip for the record books, he was presented by Careem with a free trip home to India. 

The customer of the billionth ride was Genera Tesoro, a receptionist from the Philippines, who said she takes more than 50 Careem trips per month, because she likes the platform’s affordability. Careem gifted her with free trips for a year. 

1,113-km drive

To conclude, some interesting stats about Careem drives:

  • Careem has around 2.5 million registered ‘Captains’, and has more than 50 million registered customers. 
  • The most prolific ‘Captain’ is a Jordanian who has driven 35,139 trips. The best customer is a Saudi who has ordered more than 9,500 rides. 
  • Added up, Careem’s million rides have brought in more than $4 billion in earnings. 
  • The share of Careem rides paid for digitally has increased from 31% in 2016 to 44% in 2022.
  • The shortest ride in Careem’s history was a 200-meter ride in Lahore, Pakistan. The longest one a 1,113-km drive across the whole of Saudi Arabia. 

Image: Shutterstock

Authored by: Frank Jacobs