Uber Inc.’s Careem is investing an undisclosed sum in a leading Egyptian food-delivery app, one of the biggest names yet to be lured by the sector’s growth potential in the Arab world’s most populous nation.
The partnership with elmenus, which connects customers with more than 12,000 eateries in five Egyptian cities, “will extend our reach in one of our largest ride-hailing markets”, Careem co-founder and CEO Mudassir Sheikha said on Monday in a statement.
The Dubai-based company follows Egyptian payment firm Fawry and the former CEO of Just Eat in committing funds to elmenus, which was founded about a decade ago as an online directory before adding deliveries in 2018. It counts Delivery Hero SE’s Talabat and Jumia Technologies AG among its competitors.
The country of 100 million people, where everything from a slice of cake to a blood test can be sent to your door, represents a sizable and still largely untapped market for apps like elmenus. While Egypt’s food delivery market is worth an estimated $2.8 billion, 90 per cent of customers still order by phone, according to Careem’s statement.
Careem said the agreement with elmenus was a further step in launching its Super App across the region. In the UAE, the function offers 11 services that include ride-hailing, food and grocery delivery and payments. Its own food-delivery operations serve cities across Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Pakistan and Qatar.
Uber bought Careem for $3.1 billion in a landmark deal that closed just over two year ago.