Well, I can’t have a biz blogging site without talking about this now can I?

What do you all make of this?  It’s great news isn’t it.   The first REAL exit from MENA region, right?

Statements are out.  They won’t merge the brands (for now 😉 ).  If I was a betting man, I think it’s only a matter of time.

Timing of the acquisition is smart…just before Uber’s IPO and Mashable thinks it’s going to be the one of the biggest in U.S. history

“The company is expected to go public at the New York Stock Exchange sometime next month. By the time it does, analysts tell ‘Fortune’ that Uber could be worth up to $120 billion. That value is so large that just 16% of Uber’s shares would let it crack the NYSE’s top 5 biggest openings.”

His Royal Highness Sheikh Mohammed came out on social media showing his genuine pride for the deal.  And I agree with him.  I’ve been here since 2011.  Soooo much HAS happened since my first attempt as a startup guy in Dubai.  But still a long way to go.  I mean, do we really have a healthy pipeline of exits / unicorns in the region.  I can’t name more than a couple of current growth stage companies that might see the same success as Careem.

I do have one cautionary point though. Essentially ride hailing is now a monopoly in the UAE. Theoretically, that means really high barriers to entry, if you’ve read an economics book, you know that’s not good for prices and service quality.  So will that mean high prices?  No more promo codes?

Careem has the aspirations to become a ‘super app’.  A one-stop shop for all your needs.  Inspired by WeChat, where there’s more to it than communicating, essentially it makes money from billions of transactions through its own ecosystem.  Careem wants to emulate / replicate, by launching Careem Pay to ‘own’ all the different transactions like ride hailing, food ordering, delivering, home services etc etc.

But will it be afforded to do that, or will Uber take over the reins?  Comments are welcome.



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