Dubai’s Udrive secures $5m to grow technology capabilities and expand in region

Dubai’s Udrive pay-per-minute car rental platform has raised $ 5 million as it seeks to expand its services in the Mena region and Turkey.

Cultiv8, the Dubai government’s division for small and medium-sized businesses and startup investments, and Oman Holding International (OHI) took part in the company’s latest round of financing, Udrive said Monday.

“Recent funding will help us invest in new technologies as well as increase our offerings in the region this year,” said Nicholas Watson, CEO and co-founder of Udrive.

Raising money has never been associated only with funds, but with our ability to work on a scale and make real changes to old existing business models

Nicholas Watson, CEO and co-founder of Udrive

“Raising money has never been associated only with funds, but with our ability to work on a scale and make real changes to old existing business models. We started this concept in the UAE and are now continuing our expansion across the region. ”

Car-sharing apps that allow customers to rent a car by the hour or even by the minute are growing in popularity. The pay-as-you-go model helps drivers save on insurance and maintenance, as well as on car loan repayments.

According to a survey of automotive industry executives conducted by consulting firm McKinsey in 2020, more and more consumers are now open to vehicle subscription services.

It is expected that by 2026 the number of car-sharing users will reach 60.7 million, according to Statista.

Udrive will use the revenue to expand in the region and improve its technology, the startup said, and is focused on streamlining customers.

The founder of Udrive, founded in January 2017 in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, was at the center of Series A funding when the coronavirus pandemic began, which stopped funding, its founder said last February.

The company later earned $ 2.5 million in the Seed + round in 2020, before raising $ 1.3 million through Eureeca, a crowdfunding platform in Dubai, in January last year.

Following the completion of a $ 5 million round of funding in 2021, the company’s valuation reached $ 20 million, Mr Watson said.

To date, Udrive has made two million trips, making it one of the largest car rental booking platforms in the region, the company said.

“Mobility technology is one of the key investment sectors on which our technology fund is focused, and Udrive is in line with the fund’s principles,” said Arif Alavi, CEO of Cultiv8, a technology-focused investment management company.

Cultiv8 is wholly owned by the Mohammed bin Rashid Foundation for SMEs and is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

Muscat-based OHI investments will support Udrive’s goal of doubling annual revenue and fleet, the startup said.

“We can expect radical changes in how cars will be used both globally and regionally,” said Eihab Saleh, Director and CEO of OHI.

“We’re sure them [Udrive’s] The product roadmap is expected to significantly change the way cars are used in the Menat region. “

Updated: February 21, 2022, 10:00 a.m.

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