Let's start with a riddle; what does the biggest on-demand cab service in MENA, Careem, and the largest mobile network operator, Vodafone, have in common? Well, they've both become an integral part of much of Cairo's daily rituals.
Having arrived in Egypt April 2015, what started off as a modest start-up in 2012 has come to be a savior for many a Cairo commuter and the company's latest local collaboration sees it team up with the international powerhouse that is Vodafone for some mighty tasty treats for RED customers.
Every month, Vodafone RED customers can get up to four free Careem rides per month, depending on your plan. Customers will receive promo codes via SMS from Vodafone, which can then be entered while booking a ride – simple as that.
But the partnership marks a huge step for Careem, which has come to be a household name across the Middle East and stands as the most used app of its kind in the region. Operating through a network of over 80,000 drivers in 31 cities across 10 countries, a whopping four million people have downloaded the Careem app.
Founded by Magnus Olsson, Abdulla Elyas and Mudassir Sheikha in Abu Dhabi, Careem's rise and rise hasn't always been as straightforward as one might assume and its history is much more complex – for example, it initially only catered to corporate clients and no app existed; just a website that allowed international travelers to pre-book a car by emailing Olsson and Sheikha. Though it quickly became a unique and vital tool for travelers, it wasn't till Careem opened its scope that it became what it is today. It's place as one of the most innovative and effective companies in the region was cemented this year when it was named number one in Forbes Middle East's list of 50 Most Promising U.A.E. Startups.
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