Careem will continue to operate as an independent company under the Careem brand led by its original founders…

Global transport giant Uber has confirmed that it is set to buy homegrown tech startup Careem in a deal worth $3.1 billion.

The American ride-hailing giant will purchase Careem with $1.4 billion in cash and $1.7 billion in convertible notes for Careem, according to an official statement from Uber.

The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2020, upon which Careem and Uber will continue to operate their respective regional services and independent brands separately. So, you’ll still be able to use Careem taxis after the deal closes.

Careem co-founder and CEO Mudassir Sheikha will lead the Careem business, which will report to its own board made up of three representatives from Uber and two representatives from Careem.

The news comes just ahead of Uber’s expected IPO launch in April when it will list on the New York Stock Exchange. Set to become one of the Stock Exchange’s biggest ever listings, the company could be valued as high as $120bn.

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“Joining forces with Uber will help us accelerate Careem’s purpose of simplifying and improving the lives of people, and building an awesome organisation that inspires,” said Careem CEO and co-founder, Mudassir Sheikha of the deal.”The mobility and broader internet opportunity in the region is massive and untapped, and has the potential to leapfrog our region into the digital future.”

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Image: Getty