Dubai-based ride-hailing service Careem says it now has 1 million drivers using its platform, a milestone that comes as the company is locked in fierce competition with Uber across the Middle East and North Africa.
Founded in 2012, Careem claims that it is now creating between 60,000-70,000 jobs per month across the 14 countries where it operates. To date, those drivers have completed more than 300 million trips combined.
Both Careem and Uber face stiff competition from each other and from official taxi fleets, while also navigating issues with regulators. That hasn't stopped investors from pumping funds into the firms, fueling their aggressive expansion across the region.
San Francisco-headquartered Uber was last reported to have 3 million drivers, who completed 15 million trips each day across 65 countries. But with losses piling up last year, the company has reviewed its market presence across the globe.
Against that backdrop, a rumor emerged in July that Careem and Uber were in preliminary talks to merge, but few new details have since come out regarding a potential tie-up.
Careem also recently announced plans to invest over $150 million to launch a food delivery business by September, after acquiring online restaurant reservation and food delivery platform RoundMenu. Called CareemFood, the service will be first launched in Pakistan, followed by the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries, and Egypt.
With CareemFood, the company is entering a crowded food delivery market in the region, the value of which stood at $3.4 billion, according to the annual food and beverage report by KPMG in 2017.