Uber is searching focus and deals with rivals

Uber is in early-stage talks about a deal with Middle Eastern ride-hailing rival Careem that could include taking a majority stake or acquiring the company outright…The discussions come as Careem is said to be in the process of a new funding round that would bolster its position as Uber’s largest competitor in a fast-growing market. Uber is no stranger to doing deals with rivals. This year the company sold its operations across south-east Asia to local rival Grab, in exchange for a minority stake, to avoid an expensive battle for market share. Uber had previously struck a similar deal with China’s Didi Chuxing in 2016, and pulled out of Russia in 2017 after a merger with Yandex… Dubai-based Careem, which was founded in 2012, claims to be the leading ride-hailing app in the Middle East, north Africa, Pakistan and Turkey. It has raised more than $500 million in venture funding at a valuation in excess of $1 billion… Offering discounts and promotions to lure both drivers and passengers is a costly business for both Uber and Careem… For Uber any deal would come as Japan’s SoftBank, its biggest backer, urges the company to focus on its core markets in the US and Europe… Uber yesterday said it would relaunch its service in Finland following a relaxation of the country’s taxi laws, and last week won back its licence to operate in London, its biggest European market.
Tim Bradshaw, James Fontanella-Khan and Simeon Kerr