BEIRUT: Careem, a MENA-wide transportation company – known primarily for its ride hailing service - has launched an online delivery platform.
Careem NOW is Careem’s expansion into the food delivery market as the company expands its platform beyond ride hailing to payments, delivery and mass transportation.
Adeeb Warsi, Managing Director of Careem NOW, said, “Careem NOW can do for food delivery what Careem has successfully done for ride hailing. Careem NOW will create awesome dining experiences, more employment opportunities and have a hugely-positive impact on the rapidly growing food delivery market as it’s rolled out in each country. It’s another new vertical from Careem as we expand beyond ride-hailing.”
Over $150 million will be invested in Careem NOW, reflecting Careem’s level of commitment in bringing a first-class delivery service to the region. The service will initially launch in Dubai and Jeddah. Careem NOW will operate via a separate app available from today for Android and iOS.
In Dubai the new service will go up against the existing Uber Eats, Talabat and Deliveroo.
Careem’s 33 million existing customers can add food delivery through the Careem NOW and enjoy the convenience of a single identity across Careem and Careem NOW. Existing Careem customers will be logged seamlessly onto the new app, and 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. Operating seven days a week (and in line with restaurant operating hours), the service will also have a dedicated call center. The pricing structure includes a customer fee for delivery. The zone-based launch will begin with Dubai and Jeddah, with Egypt and Pakistan to follow.
Warsi added, “Over 85 percent 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.”
According to internal research, food delivery in Careem NOW's target countries is predicted to reach around a $25 billion market by 2022. Careem NOW follows on from the launch of Careem Bus in Cairo and peer-to-peer credit transfer as Careem expands into new verticals and building out its platform businesses.
Existing services in Beirut include Toters, Onlivery and Zomato. Recent reports by the restaurant sector in Lebanon have shown marked growth in food delivery during 2018.
In collaboration with Arabnet
Annahar correspondents Fatima Mahmoud, Ryme Alhussayni, and Chiri Choukeir contributed.
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