Dubai: After months of speculation, ride-hailing firm Uber finally announced its acquisition of local hero Careem last week.
In what was the region’s largest tech acquisition ever, the company was bought for $3.1 billion (Dh11.39 billion) in a cash and stock transaction, ahead of Uber’s initial public offering (IPO) later this year.
When the news broke, many were concerned that Careem, which has a strong local affinity with the UAE’s population, would be swallowed in to Uber and cease to exist.
Others, meanwhile, were pleased to see a home-grown start-up exit at such a high valuation, talking about the potential cascading effect that the cash may have on the next generation of young companies.
In today’s episode of the podcast, we discuss the pros and the cons of the acquisition, the factors that laid the groundwork for the deal, and the potential knock-on effects.
We argue about whether a company like Careem was right to sell, or whether they should have continued to build a strong local business.
We also look at which start-ups may be next to hit the big time, and from which sectors they will arrive from.