Uber has announced it has reached a deal to acquire Middle East-based ride-hailing company Careem for $3.1 billion. Careem, founded in 2012 in Dubai, claims more than 30 million registered users, providing ride-hailing service in 120 cities across North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
Uber approaches a much-anticipated initial public offering, with the current value of the company at around $120 billion. Despite booking a $1.8 billion loss in 2018, the company wants to position itself as one-stop-shop for all transportation needs, from ride-hailing to bike-sharing.
Alibaba, Tencent set up $1.5billion ride-hailing venture
Alibaba, Tencent, Suning, and Chinese car makers, like Chongqing Changan Automobile have set up a ride-hailing venture with $1.5 billion in funds. The investment company aims to test the dominance of Didi Chuxing on the Chinese, the world’s largest, ride-hailing market. According to Bain&Co, the Chinese ride-hailing market is worth $23 billion, with Didi controlling over 90% of all bookings.
Other car makers like BMW and Geely have set up their own mobility services. Didi also has join partnerships with BAIC and Volkswagen.
Paris announces taxes for bike and scooter services
The City of Paris has announced that it will be taxing around 15,000 free-floating vehicles like bikes and electric scooters in the city. The tax is €20 per bike per year, €50 per scooter, and €60 per motorcycle.
The tax will also depend on the size of the fleet company manages. After 500th vehicle, companies will pay 10% more, after 1000–20%, and after 2999–30%.
Paris has had many free-floating bike-sharing services, but most of them are either scaling back or leaving the market. GoBee Bike, oBike, Ofo, and Mobike all once roamed the streets of Paris. GoBee Bike has shut down, Ofo still has a few bikes but no team, Mobike is scaling back all of its operations. Station-based bike-sharing services like Velib seem to have more success in the city.
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