Dubai-based Udrive, a startup that enables customers to rent
cars by the minute, has raised $5 million to expand its business.
The funding comes from Dubai Cultiv8 Investments, an investment
arm of the government, and Oman Holdings International (OHI).
Founded in 2017, Udrive says it had strong growth in 2021,
with two million trips to date, making it one of the largest booking platforms
by transactions per car in the Middle East and Africa region.
Customers can book a journey in the Udrive app or on its
website, find a suitable car nearby and drive off, with gas, insurance and most
parking fees included in the booking. Cars can be rented per minute or per day
and returned in the same city to any parking location.
Subscribe to our newsletter below
“Mobility tech is one of the key investment sectors our
technology fund focuses on, and UDrive perfectly fits the fund’s guidelines and
the fund manager’s ambitions,” says Arif Alai, CEO of Cultiv8.
“With the newly formed board and management team we are
excited for Udrive’s continued triple-digit growth across the MENAT region during
OHI owns the car rental company Budget Oman and is expected
to use its knowledge of the mobility space to help Udrive meet its growth
“We can expect to see radical shifts in how cars will be
used both globally and regionally,” says Eihab Saleh, OHI’s director and CEO.
“With a vision to drive this change, Udrive presented their
well‐articulated plan to achieve successful entry across new market making our
decision easy to invest in Udrive. We are confident that their product roadmap is
expected to significantly change the way cars are ‘consumed’ and utilized in
the MENAT region.”
Along with expanding its fleet and markets, Udrive says it
will use the capital to invest in new technologies, for example to create an automated
system that determines where a car is parked and pays the relevant meter
“We are digitizing mobility making it easily
accessible to everyone. The recent funding secured will help us invest in new technologies
as well as grow our offerings into the region this year. We want to provide
this service to everyone who can drive, and the reality is customer demand is shifting
fast from buying & owning to on‐demand and subscription,” says Nicolas
Watson, Udrive co-founder and CEO.