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Careem enters food delivery sector with $150 million investment

Careem is going all in with its food delivery business.

Yesterday, it announced a new service, Careem NOW, which will be Careem’s first foray into this sector in Dubai and Jeddah.

Careem is growing its influence

The ride-hailing company has launched an online delivery platform for goods and services. Careem NOW is 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 of 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, and the service will initially launch in Dubai and Jeddah. Careem NOW will operate via a separate app – available now for Android and iOS.

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Easy integration

Careem’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 Careem customers will be logged seamlessly onto the new app, and stored payment details and addresses will be automatically linked. 

Careem NOW 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.

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Where is Careem NOW available?

Careem NOW will start by operating in the following zones, and expand from there.

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

A journey long in the making

News broke earlier this year that the ride-hailing company had its eyes on the food-delivery sector. In anticipation of the launch of its own service, dubbed CareemFood at the time, the company acquired RoundMenu, a Middle Eastern online restaurant directory and reservation platform and app. It was clear that Careem was acquiring the infrastructure for online food delivery ahead of its new venture.

Today, the service will be known as Careem NOW.

Warsi added, “Over 85% of the food delivery markets in our region still operates via traditional call-and-order methods. 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 an approximate $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.

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