The Careem Business Model: How the Super App Took the Middle East By Storm

Date :
June 9, 2023
Listed by :
Aastha Khanna

Let’s Build Your Dream App!

The Careem Business Model: How the Super App Took the Middle East By Storm

From being a ridesharing company in 2012 to being a super app today, the Careem taxi app has come a long way. And it could come this far only because the Careem business model evolved with the changing customer demands. 

With mobile phone usage increasing and new business types taking shape, the popularity of super apps is gaining pace. And with it, the Careem super app is meeting the most complex customers’ expectations. This, in itself, is no less than a feat. 

Though Careem started its services with ride-hailing in the UAE, eventually it found the Product-Market Fit and expanded it to Riyadh and Doha around 2013. Today, Careem has its empire spread across 100 cities in 13 countries. Further, they are one of the top multi-service platforms in MEA.

Recently, the team released its 2022 business figures. Some notable revelations were 505,856 burgers delivered to hungry clients and 24,000 rides to World Cup stadiums.

Also, as Uber took over the Careem ride-hailing app in 2020, the latter now has a firm monopoly over the ride-hailing sector in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Pakistan, Egypt, and Qatar.


How did the Careem taxi app become a super app?

Careem is a super app that fulfills clients’ demands like meal delivery, ridesharing, and digital payments by offering them one platform. Its presence is spread across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia regions.

This company was earlier launched as only a website-based service for corporate car bookings. With time, it grew to offer ridesharing services and later, also added more services as its offerings. 

Recently, the team has also acquired a Saudi-based home services firm.

Back in 2018, the company had also added another vertical of restaurant listing and food ordering. It had acquired RoundMenu which operated across the Arab region. 

Following this, in 2019, they acquired the UAE-based bike-sharing startup, and in 2020, they launched the payment vertical.

Today, Careem is a super app with three value propositions:

  • Mobility of People

To offer bike and car facilities to Careem clients so they can book a cab from anywhere in the region. Clients should be able to get the rides through the app or physically at a smart docking station.

  • Mobility of Things

Users should be able to get food, daily essentials, medicines, other deliveries, etc, on one application.

  • Mobility of Money

Customers must have access to a safe, secure, and seamless payment app to transfer money, top-up their mobile plan, pay bills, etc. 

The platform includes delivery, mass transportation, payments, and many more. It has become the region’s go-to super app, one that they use daily.

What is the Story of the Careem Taxi App

Careem Statistics At a Glance

From what you read above, it is clear that Careem is definitely one of the top 10 taxi app development companies in the Middle East. Now, take a look at the Careem super app’s statistics too so you get a clearer picture:

Business Aspect Statistic
Ride Hailing 1. There were, in total, 97 million rides, with 1.2 billion kilometers clocked in 2022.
2. At 26.8 million, the highest number of trips were made in Saudi Arabia.
Food Delivery 1.Chicken McNuggets were most frequently ordered.
2. But, in 2021-2022, healthy food orders grew 47 percent.
Grocery Delivery 1.Most male customers ordered Coca-Cola.
2.Most women ordered vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
3.Monthly grocery orders on Careem Quik increased 26 times in 2022.
B2B Delivery In 2022, 505,856 burgers were delivered to Careem Express clients.
Fintech services Careem Pay was used by 2,86,000 people; clients topped up $50 million in their Careem wallets.
Social Responsibility Initiatives The company raised $7,78,162 toward humanitarian, educational, and economic empowerment.



How Does Careem Work?

Careem Statistics At a Glance


Simply put, Careem’s core principle is to offer a user-centric experience to all stakeholders—users, merchants, and drivers. This is how the app works for the customers:

  • A client registers themselves on the Careem website or app. They then select the vertical they want. 
  • Next, they place an order/booking request and pay for it using the most convenient payment method.
  • The merchant receives the order/ride request from the customer and accepts it. 
  • Order delivery/ride is then assigned to the delivery/service partner who is also registered on the app. 

Further, Careem also allows clients to book services through the call center. Here’s the list of services offered by Careem:

  • Bike Sharing
  • Car Sharing
  • Food Ordering
  • Taxi Booking
  • E-commerce Shopping
  • Logistics for Companies
  • Parcel Delivery
  • Send Credits
  • Recharge

Launch A Scalable Online Taxi Business with Our Robust Careem Clone

What’s Careem’s Business Model?

The Careem business model is crafted around a state-of-the-art app tech stack comprising of the Admin dashboard, Captain App, and Passenger App.

Careem’s Business Model


  • Captain App

It allows the user to register as a driver, accept the trip, and start earning from every ride. All captains need to register themselves with their personal details at 

But in order to start earning via Careem, they first need to complete the captain training.

Due to the seamless Captain onboarding process, there are scores of  Careem cabs lacing the major cities of Pakistan, MENA, and Turkey, including Lahore, Riyadh, Karachi, Istanbul, Beirut, and Islamabad. 

  • Passenger App

The GPS ninjas–embedded in Careem’s passenger app–precisely pick up users’ locations. The app offers users the flexibility to choose to ride ‘now’ or ‘later’.

The passenger gets a booking confirmation once they choose their drop-off location and click on ‘YALLA!’

Using the passenger app, users can track their rides in real time. Further, they have the option to pay via credit card or in cash. They can even rate the service once the ride is over.

Features of the Passenger and Driver/Captain App

Passenger App Passenger App Driver App
User profile & statistics Automated e-receipts Notifications to drivers
Edit profile Vehicle tracking system (GPS) Vehicle tracking
On-demand booking Ride History Automated e-receipts
Billing Flexible payment options SMS alerts
SMS alerts Scheduled bookings


  • Admin Dashboard

This is the third pillar supporting the Careem business model. The Admin has the power to do anything; right from managing drivers to setting up fares to tracking appointments. 

The Admin also keeps track of drivers, manages cash and card earnings of every driver, views all trips in real-time, and sets up and manages promotion codes. 


The Careem Operating Model

While a Business Model is all about the stakeholders, the cost and revenue streams, and the value proposition to clients, the Operating Model is about delivering value by defining the value chains. 

Further, the model also defines how the organization supports these value chains.

  • Client Call Center

Understanding that not all people are tech-savvy, the Careem business plan includes a client call center. Instead of making false claims in front of the people of South Asia, the Careem team built a success story by taking the customers’ interests into consideration.

All clients can report issues via voice calls. And as Careem is scaling growth, all the call centers are moving to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

  • Careem’s Location Data

Google Maps doesn’t work as accurately in the Middle East as in other developed nations like the US. On top of that, the frequent construction of roads only makes navigating more difficult for taxi drivers in the Middle East. 

So, Careem built its own database of locations for people to choose a precise pickup location. 

  • Booking a Taxi For Someone Else

This feature was one of the key factors that opened the door to quick success for Careem. Usually, bookings are made by assistants for their bosses, parents for their school-going wards, and businessmen for their clients.

So, the Careem taxi app has this feature wherein users can book rides for others either by using cash or a credit/debit card as the payment method.

  • Captain Call Center


Captain Call Center


This is built considering two priorities: customer experience and customer security. Careem’s captains do not have clients’ contact information. So, if these captains want to know anything about the passengers (from the security point of view), they can call operatives.

Also, the Captains who are new to the Middle East have issues understanding the native language of clients (who are generally immigrants from Australia, Europe, Africa, etc.)

The makers of the Careem taxi app solved this problem by situating the Captain Call Center right in the lap of the Middle East. So, the Careem team didn’t let Middle East’s pain points go against their business’ advantage.

They crafted an operating model that aligns perfectly with the Careem business model, in keeping with the Middle East’s context. 


How Does Careem Generate Revenue?

In the Middle East, the credit card penetration rate is low. So, the Careem team came up with a revenue model that includes a mix of payment methods. 

Cash, invoice, credit, and credit in the wallet are the four payment options available to Careem passengers. 


Cash Inflow and Outflow Between Careem Team and Captains

The Careem team pays the captains for B2C bookings on the credit card and B2B bookings on the invoice. If any B2C cash bookings are made, captains pay the Careem team.

Already, over 90% of Careem bookings are made in cash. As the passengers prefer cash as their primary mode of payment, captains have to pay the Careem team. 

But when the passengers prefer other modes of payment, the Careem team needs to pay Captains.

When the payment is made in credit, the Careem team and the captains get a certain percentage of every trip fare. 

Also, if a captain hasn’t shared Careem’s share with the team, the company blocks the captain from accepting a trip until that fare is shared. This only happens when the captains breach the cash-blocking limit set by Careem.


The Thing Called Careem Rewards

Another aspect of Careem’s revenue model is its unique reward system that is deeply embedded into the company’s business model. The Careem taxi app users can scratch rewards off the app without signing up. 

These rewards and benefits include doing charity, getting free rides, or making a donation in one way or another. Though these rewards are only one tap away, the Careem team also gives the app users a chance to get access to the world of more rewards.

Users can upgrade to Careem Gold to get access to exclusive offers, bonus points, and priority support besides the rewards and benefits mentioned above.

Careem Rewards

What are Careem’s future plans?

As per Crunchbase, Careem has already raised a total of $1.7 billion in funding. And the popular super app makers are considering expanding their ride-hailing services across India too. 

They have launched a tech-driven bus shuttle service–Commut–whose local operations have been taken over by Shuttl. The stakeholders took the decision believing that Commut will accelerate Careem’s expansion into mass transportation. 

To date, the firm has served more than 70,000 customers by making more than 7,50,000 trips across over 100 routes in Hyderabad. Definitely a great head start.



On that note, if you’re looking to kickstart your business in the taxi app development niche, consider reaching out to us at Code Brew Labs. We’re a premium app development company that has an experienced team of developers building next-gen apps for over a decade now.

Tell us your requirements and we’ll be right at your disposal.


Get In Touch
Join, Sell & Earn

Explore Our Partnership Program to Sell
Our Fully Customized Tech Solution To Your Clients.

Partner With Us!

Wait! Looking for Right Technology Partner For Your Business Growth?

It's Time To Convert Your Business Idea Into Success!

Get Free Consultation From Top Industry Experts:
I would like to keep it to myself