Ramadan is coming up, and all we are going to be thinking about is food, food, and food!
In what could be in preparation for that, ridesharing app Careem has now acquired RoundMenu, an online restaurant ordering, delivery and reserving platform based in the MENA region.
In a statement, Careem stated that the acquisition “is part of a wider investment into the food delivery category.”
RoundMenu currently has a presence in 18 cities across the Middle East, including Cairo and Alexandria, and maintains a partnership with the world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor.
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The acquisition was settled for an undisclosed amount.
Could Careem be gearing up for another battlefront with rideshare competitor Uber?
In the hot summers of the Arab region, many of us would prefer to order in.
This is the reason why there is an abundance of shops and restaurants willing to deliver, our growing need to stay in during the melting heat has driven demand to higher levels.
Uber has already jumped on the bandwagon by expanding their UberEATS system into the region.
Last month, Uber announced it will be releasing UberEATS to Egypt soon. The platform allows users to sign in on the app or website, scroll through partnered restaurant menus and order food from Uber.
UberEATS is currently available across more than 200 cities around the world including Dubai and Abu Dhabi. According to the company, UberEATS has been pretty successful in the UAE with orders growing by 169% in the second half of 2017.
Careem’s acquisition of RoundMenu may be a response to the news, seeing as the acquisition happened less than a month after Uber’s announcement.
Could Careem really be preparing to add food delivery to their repertoire in Cairo?
They may even be aiming to cater, through bus sharing app SWVL, from which they acquired a minority share back in July 2017. Who knows? At the very least, we know is that Careem is definitely going to try and enter the same market as Uber and Otlob, Egypt’s reigning online food delivery platform.
Careem has stated that they will be testing delivery capabilities (on small scale) later this month.