Saudi Prince Invests $63M in Ride Sharing Service Careem

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -

An investment firm chaired by billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has invested $62 million in a Dubai-based ride hailing service called Careem, which rivals Uber in the Middle East.

The Kingdom Holding Company announced the roughly 7 percent acquisition of Careem on Thursday, which also gives it a seat on the ride hailing app’s board of directors. Careem is one of just a few local startups to be valued at $1 billion. The five-year-old company localized the idea of Uber by also allowing customers to pay by cash.

The Kingdom Holding Company has a broad range of global investments, including in other technology firms such as Lyft, Uber’s competitor in the U.S.

Last year, the Saudi government’s sovereign wealth fund invested $3.5 billion in Uber.