Dubai firm acquires city startup

Hyderabad: UAE-based ride-hailing app Careem, on Monday, said that it has entered into mass transportation with the acquisition of bus-shuttle service app Commut. However, the size of the deal wasn’t disclosed.

In a press release, Careem’s co-founder Magnus Olsson said, “…we are always looking to invest in new technologies and high-calibre people to help solve complex local problems. And mass transportation is one of the biggest issues facing cities in the Greater Middle East.”

Commut, which is operational in Hyderabad and has currently served in 7.5 lakh trips over more than 100 routes, was set up in 2015 by six IIIT-Hyderabad graduates.

“Our mission is in line with Careem’s of providing users with a safe, reliable, affordable and convenient means of transportation for people. Joining Careem and building the mass transportation vertical will help us in fulfilling our mission at a much larger scale,” Commut CEO Prasanth Garapati said.

Commut, which is backed by Shell-Foundation and 50K Ventures, has over 70,000 customers and onboarded 400 driver-partners. 

The UAE-based firm will take over Commut’s talent and technology, but the customers and drivers will be hived off to a different shuttle service provider Shuttl.

Meanwhile, according to a Bloomberg report, Uber Technologies is in talks with Careem, who will now use the technology to deploy mass transport in the West Asia region, for acquisition of the UAE-based firm at an estimated value of over $2 billion.