Dubai’s car rental app Udrive secures $5mn to fuel MENAT expansion

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Dubai-based pay-per-minute car rental service, Udrive has raised $5 million as it seeks to expand its services across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT).

Cultiv8, Dubai government’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and startup investment arm, and Oman Holding International (OHI) participated in the company’s latest funding round, Udrive said.

Udrive addresses short-term on-demand rentals by adding additional services including free fuel, parking and comprehensive insurance for all its customers. Its cars can be driven per minute or per day, depending on the needs of the customer. The mobile app acts as an all-purpose digital hub for private transport, payments, customer service and logistics, dramatically reducing the time it takes compared to traditional rental companies.

Nicholas Watson
Nicholas Watson
CEO & Co-Founder

“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 and owning to on-demand and subscription.”

Car-sharing apps that allow customers to rent a vehicle by the hour, or even the minute, have been growing in popularity. The pay-by-use model helps drivers to save on insurance and maintenance costs, and car loan repayments. According to a report by Valuates, the global car-sharing market will reach $103 billion by 2025.

Udrive will use the proceeds to expand in the region and enhance its technology while also focusing on streamlining customer experiences. The company has completed two million trips to date, making it one of the largest rental booking platforms by transactions per car in the region.

Founded in January 2017 in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, Udrive was in the midst of its series A funding round when the coronavirus pandemic struck, bringing its funding to a standstill, its founder said in February last year. 

The company later secured $2.5 million in a seed+ round in 2020 before raising $1.3 million through Eureeca, the Dubai-based equity crowdfunding platform, in January last year.

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