Sunday 05, March 2017 by Georgina Enzer

Audacia Capital secures a 25 per cent Stake in Dubai startup ekar

Audacia Capital has secured a 25 per cent stake in ekar, a car sharing company.

The latest investment is led by Audacia Capital based in the finance hub of Dubai, DIFC and the partnership will enable ekar to expand their service network by increasing their fleet and thereby reaching out to a larger customer base with the car sharing model. With the finalising of the new partnership, Audacia Capital has secured a 25 per cent stake in ekar shares with a series B raise scheduled to take place within the next 18 months.

“Audacia Capital has always been supportive of UAE founded companies. The ekar business model is offering consumers a unique service that isn’t available in the market. ekar is also working in alignment with the UAE Government’s vision to promote sustainability and economic growth and car sharing will serve to be very beneficial for this purpose in the long run. We are pleased to have started this partnership and we are confident that ekar will in no time become the leading car-sharing scheme operator in the GCC,” said Emad Mansour, CEO, Audacia Capital.

ekar formally launched in January 2017 with the Road and Transport Authority of Dubai (RTA) with a fleet of 100 cars spread across the Emirate of Dubai.

“With this investment, ekar has the financial capacity to both expand its current operations with the Roads & Transportation Authority (RTA), Emirates Airlines, and Etihad Airways as well as to add new carshare programmes for city and private fleets. We aim to have over 1,000 ekars over the next 3 years across the GCC including Saudi Arabia,” said Vilhelm Hedberg, CEO ekar. “The ekar RTA Dubai Car fleet of 100 ekars are available for booking from convenient metro locations and city locations, easily discoverable via our ekar App. User counts continue to grow, and we are already seeing trends in consumer behaviour, with many members utilising ekars multiple times daily. Further, our existing business with Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines continues to grow, and we have begun expanding our focus to international airports, a clear next step for ekar. The ekar Book Now, Book Later option is ideal for tourists looking to plan ahead for their trips, and is also gaining increasing popularity with public and private companies looking to optimise its own car fleet. Typically, a carshare programme can bring about a 35 per cent decrease in company fleet size, which in turn reduces company costs and depletes overall carbon emissions.”

According to the Boston Consulting Group, by the year 2021, 35 million users will book 1.5 billion minutes of driving time each month and generate annual revenues of $4.7 billion globally.

The car sharing phenomenon comes with environmental benefits including reduced levels of air pollution, less parking infrastructure and less road expansions and more resources for park development and urban green spaces. For every one car share car on the road means there are seven cars off the road thereby contributing largely to the decrease in air pollution.

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