Here are the best mobility startups in the Middle East

Want to get an idea of ​​the mobility landscape in the Middle East? Arab News recently obliged by publishing a list of the region’s top 10 most funded mobility startups.

The list is a quick overview that serves as a great introduction to the local mobility ecosystem – if nothing else, demonstrating the absolute dominance of the regional mobility landscape by the United Arab Emirates (UAE; photo: Dubai). And by showing that outside of the top five, the players are relatively small. Here is the abbreviated list.

1. Careem

  • Funding: $771.7 million
  • Headquarters: UAE

Ride-sharing giant Careem is one of the first and largest local mobility players in the Middle East. Founded in 2012 as a car reservation service and acquired by Uber for $3.1 billion in 2020, it has since branched out into food delivery, among other things, and now calls itself a “super app.” .


  • Funding: $264 million
  • Headquarters: UAE

Founded in Egypt in 2017, Svwl provides transit solutions within and between cities, for corporate and government transportation services. The company, now headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, operates in 20 countries on four continents. Like Careem, Swvl is a “unicorn,” meaning with a market value of over $1 billion.

3. Yasser

  • Funding: $43 million
  • Headquarters: Algeria

Yassir offers carpooling, last mile delivery and other on-demand mobility services throughout the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), as well as in Canada and France. The company started as a ridesharing platform, but has also grown into a “super app”, even offering financial services to its customers. Yassir intends to expand further into Europe and West Africa.

4. ekar

  • Funding: $34 million
  • Headquarters: UAE

Ekar offers on-demand car sharing, subscription rental, peer-to-peer rental and other mobility services. Founded in 2017, the company now operates in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. It is a regional pioneer in completely contactless car-sharing. After launching in Thailand in 2022, ekar plans to expand to Malaysia, Turkey and Egypt soon.

5. Udrive

  • Funding: $17.3 million
  • Headquarters: UAE

Founded in 2016, Udrive offers up-to-the-minute car rentals in the United Arab Emirates for both locals and tourists. The company has already accumulated two million customer trips. Udrive plans to improve its technology and expand into the Middle East.

6. Fenix

  • Funding: $5 million
  • Headquarters: UAE

Founded by two former Careem executives in 2020 (and therefore the youngest company on the list), Fenix ​​offers e-scooter subscriptions. It aims to become the main micromobility operator in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

7. Telgani

  • Funding: $4.2 million
  • Headquarters: Saudi Arabia

Rent a car through the company’s app and you get the vehicle of your choice delivered to your doorstep. This is the idea behind Telgani, founded in 2018. As a business model, it seems particularly suited to the means and expectations of wealthy Saudi customers; perhaps this is why the company has not yet expanded beyond the borders of this country.

8. Ousta

  • Funding: $3.1 million
  • Headquarters: Egypt

Founded in 2016 to capture market share with other carriers like Uber and Careem, Ousta has remained tight-lipped about its operations since its first $1.5 million fundraiser.

9. KOI Walk

  • Funding: $3 million
  • Headquarters: UAE

Founded in 2015, KOI Ride is a B2B ridesharing startup offering end-to-end ground transportation by connecting online booking with approved transportation providers. The company offers services in Dubai and several Turkish cities, but also in London, New York, Las Vegas and Cancun.

10. Urent

  • Funding: $1.5 million
  • Headquarters: UAE

Dubbed “Airbnb for cars”, car rental provider Urent offers platform-based peer-to-peer vehicle sharing. With this “community of trust”, he hopes to revolutionize car rental in the Middle East.

Image: Shutterstock

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