Careem’s growth and the idea of what we provide can differ depending on who you are and where you live. For some people in a place like Dubai, Careem might be the Lexus you book to take you to the airport. In Egypt, it’s the motorbike you get when you need to beat the traffic and get across Cairo in a hurry. In Pakistan it’s the tuk tuk you use to get to work every day. We are, of course, all those things and more, but why we are all those things is the important part.
Our focus is on making our service affordable for the masses and helping to solve the transport issues that we’ve seen across all our markets. To do this we have been diversifying our vehicle types across all markets because the tech infrastructure we have built can support multiple vehicle types.
It started with cars. For example, when we first launched in Cairo, we did so with just ten cars which, in hindsight, is ridiculously few for a city that large. Someone would open the app and it said you’ll get a car in 90 minutes, but people waited for 90 minutes because they didn’t have any other good alternatives at the time. But since then we have scaled from those ten cars to thousands of cars, so now have an ETA of three to four minutes from anywhere in Cairo.
Then we introduced motorbikes and that helped solve the issues of getting around in congested traffic as well as bring the cost down – a trip on a scooter is about 25-35 percent of the cost of taking a car trip. In major cities across Egypt and Pakistan, our bikes now account for 15-20 percent of daily trips. (And having bikes on the app also allows us to provide delivery services.)
Auto rickshaws are 40 percent cheaper than car trips so In Pakistan, and now they are making up 10-15 percent of our daily business. Meanwhile, carpooling can bring down a trip fare by 20-to-30 percent and we are already seeing ten percent of our trips in Amman stem from pooling.
Through the introduction of more diverse vehicles, we are fast becoming the dominant provider of app-based transportation in the region. Alternatives to cars means a range of price points and that means more people can use our service. Part of our mission is to increase mobility for the region and we feel strongly that the benefits of ride hailing should be extended to everyone.
We predict more and more people giving up their cars and switching to a ride hailing app over the next decade and the Careem app is a conduit for moving everyone. And the addressable market is huge.
When people talk about Careem’s growth and expansion they often think of us launching into a new city or country, just as we did recently with Sudan. But within the countries in which Careem currently operates, we believe that right now, we only have one percent of the addressable market. Even in a city that is large, we can become multiple times larger simply because only a small part of the population is currently using us. And it’s creating around 70,00 jobs a month.
In addition, more people are moving to the cities in which we currently operate, meaning our transport solutions – from motorbikes to carpooling to boats – are going to play an even greater part in solving the increasing mass-mobility problems.
Since 2011, the population of Egypt has increased by three million, bringing the total to 99 million, and is estimated to likely double to 160 million by 2050. Cairo’s population is almost 20 million. Karachi’s population is 22.1 million and has an annual growth of 3.17 percent. Riyadh current population is 5.7 million and there’s an annual growth of 3.16 percent.
And that’s one of the growth opportunities for Careem – simply doing more in the cities we are already in, and as we grow, we can launch new vehicle types which further broadens the options for residents of that city.
We believe the addressable mobility opportunity to be more than $100 billion given the lack of sophisticated public transport infrastructure in most of our cities. The potential for growth is significant.