Ride-hailing company Careem has acquired UAE subscription-based food delivery company Munch:On as it expands food offerings on its multi-services platform.
Munch:On will stop daily operations and its services will be rebuilt into the Careem app, the company said in a statement on Friday. Careem did not disclos the value of the deal.
“The Munch:On team have built a competitive food offering driven by a clear vision to make food more accessible and affordable,” said Mudassir Sheikha, chief executive and co-founder of Careem.
“The food offer on the Careem app today serves millions of customers across the Middle East and is growing rapidly. By acquiring Munch:On, Careem Food will be able to build an even more competitive offering with a much richer variety of benefits for customers and restaurant partners.”
Careem became the Middle East's first unicorn — a start-up with a valuation of more than $1 billion — when US-based Uber bought it in 2019 for $3.1bn.
Teams at Careem Food and Munch:On will work together to introduce low-cost meal segments that Munch:On has pioneered in the region.
They will also introduce food discovery and delivery options for the corporate sector, using the experience of Munch:On, which has delivered millions of meals to customers at 20,000 companies in the UAE, Careem said.
Careem, through its super app, offers more than a dozen services including ride-hailing, food and grocery delivery, micro-mobility and payments. It also offers partner services including car rentals, home cleaning and PCR testing to its customers in the UAE.
The company is rapidly increasing its services and geographic footprint to grab a larger share in FinTech services, as well as the food delivery business.
In February, Careem invested an undisclosed amount in one of Egypt’s fastest-growing food delivery platforms elmenus, in a bid to grow its presence in the Arab world’s most populous country.
Careem Food serves millions of customers with access to more than 18,000 restaurants in eight core cities in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar.
In April, the company expanded its presence in the UAE's FinTech sector, rolling out a digital wallet for its Careem Pay service that stores real money for customers as part of its plans to become a digital financial services provider.
It also introduced a peer-to-peer transfer service that enables users to send, request and receive money by using either a phone number, QR code or personal payment link. Careem partnered with First Abu Dhabi Bank and Magnati to roll out the digital services, which are authorised by the Central Bank of the UAE, the company said at the time .