Careem worker, Islamabad

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Saudi Arabia’s foremost cellphone firm, STC, plans to purchase a 10% stake in cab-hailing agency Careem.

Based mostly in Dubai, Careem is a rival to Uber and has developed a robust presence within the Center East, North Africa and Pakistan.

Such cab-booking corporations are notably fashionable with girls in Saudi Arabia, who usually are not allowed to drive.

In an announcement to the Saudi Inventory Trade, STC mentioned the stake would value it $100m (£80m).

“This transfer is in keeping with the corporate technique to put money into the modern digital world, which helps the corporate to supply extra precious and modern merchandise,” STC said in a statement.

Careem was based in 2012 by two former administration consultants at McKinsey, Magnus Olsson and Mudassir Sheikha.

STC is the most important supplier of cellphone providers within the Center East and North Africa.

Nonetheless, its funding in Careem is dwarfed by the $three.5bn that Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund invested in Uber in June.

That cash might be partly used to broaden Uber’s presence within the Center East.