Saudi Arabia, Technology, UAE

Dubai-based tech unicorn enters online food delivery sector

UAE-based Careem has announced the launch of its online delivery platform for goods and services.

Careem NOW marks Careem’s expansion into the food delivery market as the company expands its platform beyond ride hailing to payments, delivery and mass transportation.

Adeeb Warsi, MD, Careem NOW, said, “Careem NOW can do for food delivery what Careem has successfully done for ride hailing. Careem NOW will create awesome dining experiences, more employment opportunities and have a hugely-positive impact on the rapidly growing food delivery market as it’s rolled out in each country. It’s another new vertical from Careem as we expand beyond ride-hailing.”

Over $150 million will be invested in Careem NOW, reflecting Careem’s level of commitment in bringing a first-class delivery service to the region.

The service will initially launch in Dubai and Jeddah. Careem NOW will operate via a separate app – available from today for Android and iOS.

The company’s 33 million existing customers can add food delivery through the Careem NOW tech and enjoy the convenience of a single identity across Careem and Careem NOW. Existing customers will be logged seamlessly onto the new app, and stored payment details and addresses will be automatically linked.

The new service will be operated independently from the ride-hailing business, and delivery will work through both a marketplace and dedicated-fleet model. Operating seven days a week (and in line with restaurant operating hours), the service will also have a dedicated call centre. The pricing structure includes a customer fee for delivery. The zone-based launch will begin with Dubai and Jeddah, with Egypt and Pakistan to follow.

“Over 85 percent of the food delivery markets in our region still operates via traditional call-and-order methods,” said Warsi. “Through our extensive infrastructure network and technology, we can immediately offer a vastly superior service.”

According to internal research, food delivery in Careem NOW’s target countries is predicted to become a around $25 billion market by 2022. Careem NOW follows on from the launch of Careem Bus in Cairo and peer-to-peer credit transfer as Careem expands into new verticals and building out its platform businesses.

Careem NOW will start by operating in the following zones and expand in the coming months:

  • Dubai – Business Bay, Jumeirah 1, JLT, Marina, Tecom, Al Quoz, Diera, Garhoud, Motor City, Sports City
  • Jeddah – Al Rawdha, Al Salamah, Al Naeem,Al Hamra,  Al Andalus, Al Khalidiya, Al Safa, Al Zahraa
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