The renowned ride-sharing company, Careem has announced the launch of a new online delivery platform for goods and services called Careem Now. The company will be conducting trials of food delivery services in a manner similar to Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Talabat and Zomato from this month onwards. As part of its preparation for this step, Careem had acquired RoundMenu, a restaurant listing and food ordering platform with operations across the Arab world back in February.
Food delivery is big business in the Middle East. According to Careem’s internal research, food delivery in Careem NOW’s target countries is expected to become a USD 25 billion market by 2022. Careem NOW is not Careem’s first venture outside the shared mobility segment. The company had earlier launched Careem Bus in Cairo and peer-to-peer credit transfer as part of its expansion into new verticals.
The entry of Careem into the food delivery segment will make it a direct competitor to Uber Eats which Uber had started across Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which are the largest markets in the MENA region.
Speaking about the launch of the new service, Adeeb Warsi, managing director of Careem NOW, said, that through Careem NOW, the company expects to transform food delivery in the same manner that Careem changed the ride hailing business. With this step, Careem is venturing beyond ride hailing and shared mobility to offer impressive dining experiences, more employment opportunities and to create a significant impact on the food delivery market as it is launched in each market.
Careem will be investing over USD 150 million in Careem NOW, highlighting the company’s high level of commitment to the new delivery service. CAreem will be rolling out careem NOW first in Dubai and Jeddah, followed by Egypt and Pakistan. Careem NOW will be operational through a separate app that is now available on both Android and iOS.
Initially, Careem NOW will be available in a few selected zones, as in the case of places like Business Bay, Jumeirah 1, JLT, Marina, Tecom, Al Quoz, Diera, Garhoud, Motor City and Sports City in Dubai and Al Rawdha, Al Salamah, Al Naeem, Al Hamra, Al Andalus, Al Khalidiya, Al Safa and Al Zahraa in Jeddah.
Current customers of Careem can opt to add food delivery through the Careem NOW tech and will now be able to benefit from the convenience of a single identity across Careem and Careem NOW. They can log in seamlessly onto the new app, and their stored payment details and addresses will be automatically linked.
Careem NOW will be operated independently from the ride-hailing business, and delivery will work through both a marketplace and dedicated-fleet model. The service will run seven days a week in line with regular restaurant timings and will also have a dedicated call center. The pricing structure includes a customer fee for delivery.
“Over 85% of the food delivery markets in our region still operates via traditional call-and-order methods. Through our extensive infrastructure network and technology, we can immediately offer a vastly superior service,” adds Warsi
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