auto car rental
Udrive's latest funding round casts the net wide, with Oman Holding International joining in. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The car rental service company Udrive has received $5 million from Dubai’s startup investment arm Cultiv8 and Oman Holding International. Udrive recorded strong growth in 2021, clocking two million trips to date, making it one of the largest rental booking platforms by transactions per car in the region.

“Mobility tech is one of the key investment sectors our technology fund focuses on, and Udrive perfectly fits the fund’s guidelines and the fund manager’s ambitions,” said Arif Alawi, CEO of Cultiv8. “With the newly formed board and management team, we are excited for Udrive’s continued triple-digit growth across the MENAT region during 2022.”

Joining Cultiv8 in the funding round was Muscat-based Oman Holdings International, which owns Budget Oman. OHI’s knowledge of the space will “support Udrive’s commitment to doubling its annual revenue target and vehicle fleet,” said the company.

Udrive said the latest round of investments will support its upcoming expansion in the region and enhancements of technology. The focus will be on streamlining customer experience, an example of which has been the automatic parking payment system, wherein the car determines where it is parked and automatically pays the relevant meter charges.

“We can expect to see radical shifts in how cars will be used both globally and regionally,” said Eihab Saleh, Oman Holdings International’s Director and CEO. “Udrive presented their well-articulated plan to achieve successful entry across new markets making our decision easy to invest. We are confident that their product roadmap is expected to significantly change the way cars are ‘consumed’ and utilized in the MENAT region.”

Car sharing platforms have seen exponential growth worldwide as well as in the Middle East. By 2026, the number of users in the car sharing segment is expected to reach 60.7 million and according to a report by Valuates, the global car sharing market will reach $103 billion by 2025.