Imagine you desire to go to King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, from your home. As the famous public transport in Riyadh, needs no introduction. Also, due to the soaring costs of taxis, what does one do? Wait the whole day for a dilapidated bus, or immediately book a shared cab using Careem, from the comfort of one’s smartphone.
Careem is a transportation company, having its headquarters in Dubai. Currently, it is operating in 120 cities in 15 different countries. The total no of users stand at around 30 million and there are approx more than 1 million captains. Its total valuation is around 2 billion dollars as of 2018.
The story began, when two Mckinsey employees namely, Mudassir Shekha and Magnus Olsson founded the firm in 2012. The initial motive was to provide a platform for booking corporate car bookings and a transportation network with car hire, for daily use. In 2015, Careem acquired a home delivery based service from Saudi Arabia. Consequently, its founder Dr Abdula Elyees, joined this firm.
After the initial establishment, the firm got a seed funding of 1.7 million USD from STC Ventures in 2013. In 2014, the firm received 10 million USD from Al Tayyer Travel Group and STC Ventures. Additional funding came in the form of 60 million USD from the Abraaj Group. In the month of December 2016, the company raised another 350 million USD. To sum it up, the firm received 200 million USD .
The basic methodology is as follows. Download the app in your smartphone. Get your location using GPS. Select the car which suits your ride now, or schedule it later. Get the captain details and track him. Do the payment by cash, credit card and debit card. After completing the ride, send the feedback about the ride.
Careem is one of the few firms which has a large percentage of women in its workforce, as a part of its policy. In Pakistan, for instance, Careem employs women drivers and nearly 30 per cent of its customers are women. Similar is the case, in Egypt and Jordan. Even in deeply conservative countries like Saudi Arabia, women make up approx 80 per cent of its customers. After the recent ruling on 24 June 2018, when women have been permitted to drive in Saudi Arabia, Careem’s female drivers are started driving since the same day itself. In fact, Careem is also a part of the Saudi women to drive movement.
Safety is of utmost concern at Careem. They have stringest measures to prevent any mishaps during the ride. Some of them are mentioned as follows.
1) All the captains undergo strict screening and thorough background check.
2) Before the arrival, you will get the Captain’s photo, name, vehicle type, rating, plate number.
3) Captains are thoroughly trained, to prevent any untoward incident during the ride.
4) Before onboarding, all our vehicles are assessed and their insurance checked and verified.
5) If you are booking, you also have an option of masking your phone nos from the captains for your privacy.
6) For any issue and assistance, you are free to contact our 24 by 7 multilingual Safety and Security Operations Centre ( SSOC ) experts. Just tap ‘Contact Us’ in the app.
7) Tracking of the trip is done real time.
8) Our app is geofenced to avoid dangerous places.
9) For little children, child seats are available in the Careem kids cars, for keeping them safe.
10) We have a mandatory policy of customers/ child life insurance, when in ride.
11) We have a readymade tie up with police and other law enforcement agencies to provide them with the necessary trip details when requested.
Careem, recently has faced criticism in Egypt, in the beginning of 2016, for operating without licences. Additionally, Careem discovered the data on more than 5588000 drivers and 14 million riders have been intefered. After investigations, it was discovered until April 2018, that there was no fraud or misuse.
In March 2019, Careem was acquired by Uber for 3.1 billion USD. Following the merger, Careem maintains the brand separately. It has recently launched a Careem bus service from Jeddah to Mecca
for only SAR25. You can do the booking via the app. Check its availiblity, track its arrival and book a seat. Currently, the payment can be done in cash. Secondly, Careem has launched its service in Aswan and Menoufia. In Aswan, customers are also being provided with horse boats and traditional Nile boats, along with car booking. In the month of Ramadan, the firm has tied up with UAE food bank and Dubai Municipality for providing free food to UAE residents. Users can donate food using an app called Food Bank car type from 11am to 5pm.
However, users in India needn’t feel disappointed. There are many cab sharing applications like Ola, Uber, Meru which can fulfil your requirements. Additionally, for your information, many exciting startups related to cab sharing are coming up day in and doubt. They offer all the facilities given by Careem at a much lower cost.