Dubai-based Udrive announces expansion spree
Udrive, the app-based pay-per-minute car rental service, has announced that it is doubling its fleet size over the next three months and targeting 500 percent revenue growth over the next 12 months.
This follows securing a round of investment of $5 million led by prominent regional business leaders and three venture capitalists who backed two of the region’s most recent ‘unicorn’ tech companies.
Founded in 2016, Udrive was the first to fractionalise mobility by introducing the rent-by-the-minute concept to the region — giving consumers the benefit of paying only for what they use.
The company scaled quickly by focusing on the large segment (60%) of the market, made up of a digitally-savvy driving age population that neither wants to own a vehicle outright, nor wants to lock up their income in a depreciating asset.
Over the last four years, the company has empowered over a quarter of a million UAE citizens, residents and visitors to complete over 1.4 million trips, delivering estimated savings of approximately 25 percent, compared to traditional mobility alternatives.
With the UAE now adapting to hybrid-work models and gearing up for an influx of tourists for EXPO 2020, Udrive’s Founder, Hasib Khan believes the company’s value proposition is more relevant than ever before.
Khan said, “As people return to work, we’re once again seeing an increased need for mobility. Whether for health and safety reasons, or the cost benefits, these individuals fully recognise the value of Udrive’s service. Furthermore, the ability to avoid large capital costs associated with owning a vehicle while still having the convenience, and the ability to enjoy the driving experience is especially attractive to expats, which make up a large portion of the population in the UAE and broader GCC region.
“With EXPO 2020 around the corner, this mentality and temporary use of assets creates additional opportunities in an already large total addressable market for Udrive.”
Nicholas Watson, Managing Director, Udrive, said, “Our technology stack and SaaS platform have allowed us to scale our fleet of cars, customers, and trip counts five times faster than traditional market players. With our new strategic investors, we now have unfettered access to invaluable experience in regional market dynamics, FinTech, and mobility — a perfect combination for where we are heading.”
In addition to their cash infusion, the new group of investors — which includes Cherif Sleiman of Infoblox and Asif Keshodia, former CFO of Souq.com, subsequently acquired by Amazon — collectively brings decades of experiences in successfully operating and expanding organisations, both start-ups and conglomerates, as well as access to a wider investor community.
This expertise and investment will be invaluable to Udrive as it looks to accelerate its next phase of growth across the UAE and enter the KSA market.
The company intends to utilise the funding to further enhance the data analytics capabilities of its platform, with a focus on elevating customer experiences. This includes providing customers a greater degree of transparency into their trips and consequently a better understanding of pricing models and potentially lower fees. Udrive is also expanding across the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey (MENAT) over the next six months as it looks to capitalise on the demand for fractionalised mobility in these markets.