Carshare startup, ekar has closed a $17.5 million Series B round led by Polymath Ventures with participation from Al Yemni Group and Audacia Capital.
The UAE-based company will now launch operations in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with 600 ekars and will launch in other cities throughout Saudi including Dammam, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, and King Abdullah Economic City.
“We are excited to announce the launch of ekar Riyadh and are eager to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Saudi residents and tourists alike with ekar’s seamless carshare service,” said Vilhelm Hedberg, co-founder and chief executive officer at ekar Middle East. “Today, ekar UAE services 50,000 bookings per month, a number which we expect to quadruple over the next twelve months as we launch services across cities in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. We have 1,000 ekars in our fleet and over 75,000 members and envision surpassing 10,000 ekars and over a million members by 2021.”
Users can hire cars on a “pay-per-minute” basis from ekar’s fleet via its mobile app and website. The round was closed earlier this year in June, but the company has only just announced its Series B funding.
“We believe smart systems and shared transport platforms like ekar are the future for sustainable mobility especially in cities with densely populated environments such as Riyadh. We invest with conviction where teams are driving innovation to solve tomorrow’s problems today, and we look forward to helping ekar succeed,” said Ali Hashemi, managing director at UAE-based Polymath Ventures.