Udrive, UAE-based tech startup and ride-sharing platform rasied $5m from Cultiv8 and Oman Holding International in a bridge round. Cultiv8 is the UAE government’s SME and startup investment arm.
“Mobility tech is one of the key investment sectors our technology fund focuses on, and UDrive perfectly fits the fund’s guidelines and the fund manager’s ambitions. With the newly formed board and management team, we are excited for Udrive’s continued triple-digit growth across the MENAT region during 2022,” Arif Alawi, CEO of Cultiv8, said.
Udrive is a pay-per-minute car rental concept that started in January 2017 by offering drivers in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi a cost-effective, short-term driving solution. Drivers can book a car for their journey via the Udrive app or the website and find it at a location that’s convenient to them. Udrive has two million trips to date.
Udrive addresses the short-term on-demand rentals by adding additional services including free fuel, parking, and comprehensive insurance for all its customers. The cars cars can be driven per minute or per day, depending on the needs of the customer.
“We can expect to see radical shifts in how cars will be used both globally and regionally,” commented Oman Holdings International’s Director & CEO Eihab Saleh. “With a vision to drive this change, Udrive presented their well-articulated plan to achieve successful entry across new market making our decision easy to invest in Udrive. We are confident that their product roadmap is expected to significantly change the way cars are ‘consumed’ and utilized in the MENAT region.”
“We want to provide this service to everyone who can drive, and the reality is customer demand is shifting fast from buying & owning to on-demand and subscription,” Nicholas Watson, Udrive CEO and co-founder, stated.
The investment will support Udrive for the upcoming expansion in the region and enhancements of its technology. Additional emphasis will be given to streamlining the customer experience, an example of which has been the automatic parking payment system, wherein the car determines where it is parked and automatically pays the relevant meter charges.
“We want to provide this service to everyone who can drive, and the reality is customer demand is shifting fast from buying & owning to on-demand and subscription. We are proud to have well-respected and diverse regional business leaders bringing unique experiences and growth potential to the business. Raising money was never about just the funds, but our ability to operate at scale and bring true change to old incumbent business models. We started this concept in the UAE and are now continuing our expansion across the region,” Watson added.
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