As part of a 2016 financing undertaken by Uber, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund invested $3.5 billion in the rideshare behemoth. In exchange, Uber in Saudi Arabia will be parting with a 5% stake in the company in favor of the PIF.
More about the $3.5 billion investment
Uber in Saudi Arabia was described as “extraordinary” and the company’s contribution to the global transport sector is said to have “improved urban mobility around the world”. This deal is most likely the biggest contribution Uber has ever received from a single investor. Al Rumayyan, managing director of the Public Investment Fund complimented Uber’s achievements over the years and stated that Saudi Arabia is “looking forward to being part of that progress.”
Uber in Saudi Arabia
Uber has been operating in Saudi Arabia since 2014 and currently serves the following cities: Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina and the Eastern Province. Uber in saudi Arabia stated that 80% of its customers in the country are women. This is plausible since just until recently, women in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to drive. Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision is aiming to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and hoping to embrace a more diversified economy.
Uber in the Middle East
Uber has stated that it has about 400,000 drivers in the Middle-East and growing. The company is facing stiff competition in the region from other rideshare companies like Careem. Careem, a transport company based in Dubai is giving Uber a run for its money in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. With presence in 13 countries and over 90 cities, Careem is offering a service that seems to be driver-focused.
In a bid to endear itself to Uber drivers, Uber recently concluded its 180 days of change to improve driver experience. Uber added more features to its driver app to benefit its drivers. It introduced friendlier acceptance rate policies, ability to set arrival times, 6 driver destination filters per day and many more.
The funds Uber raised during this round of Series G funding will not affect the company’s $62.5 billion valuation. Uber is every investor’s dream. The company has experienced rapid growth since its inception and spread to over 70 countries. Now, the company can bring its plethora of services to Saudi Arabia while helping the country in its shift towards a more knowledge based economy.
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