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About Barney Hartford

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Latest Barney Hartford News

Uber Mulls Launching Its Ride Sharing Option Uber Pool In Middle East

May 14, 2018

14-May-2018 Photo credit: Shutterstock Ride-hailing firm Uber is reportedly assessing options to launch its ride sharing service Uber Pool that allows the drivers to pick up multiple passengers in a single trip even as the company looks to grow its local operations. “We are looking at options to launch Pool in the Middle East,” Barney Hartford, COO of Uber told Forbes Middle East in an exclusive interview during a visit to Dubai. “We think there is immense opportunity for Pool in this region.” The move to introduce Pool to the region comes after its success in markets like India where it accounts for 30% of all Uber rides. Car pooling has become desirable in certain countries in the MENA region where long traffic snarls have inconvenienced commuters. But despite Uber’s interest in expanding this service in the region, Hartford allowed that there are challenges in launching the service. “I think there is opportunity in each market but it is just the regulatory issue. There are also concerns about mapping quality and the access to locations,” Hartford explained. Uber might not be launching its Pool option soon in the region but it is definitely looking to enter the high occupancy vehicle segment in markets like Egypt. The ride-sharing giant is looking to utilize the unused tourist buses to address this market need. However, this is a service that is already provided by start-ups like Swvl, a Cairo-based start-up. Fresh from a sale of its South Asia operations, the San-Francisco headquartered company is stepping up its investment in the Middle East- a market that it has marked for high growth. Although Hartford declined to specify any figures for its region wide investment, Uber is investing close to $100 million in Egypt over the next five years while it has promised to pump in about SAR 1 million in funds to Saudi to develop its operations within the Kingdom. “We are doubling down our investment in North Africa, Middle East and Pakistan. Specifically, the recent transaction we did – our south Asian business to Grab in exchange for 27.5% stake has freed up resources and allowed us to invest in products, people and partnerships across the region. What is maybe unique about our investment horizon is that we are a global company and we have the benefit of a number of global markets that are already profitable. Such profit pools can help us invest in some high growth opportunities in emerging markets.” Founded in 2009, the ride-sharing firm has transported almost 75 million riders and completed 4 billion trips last year. Last year Uber faced a backlash after a video emerged of its then-CEO and founder Travis Kalanick misbehaving with an Uber driver. The incident led to Kalanick’s departure from Uber while prompting calls from its drivers partners for a change in culture. Under the new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who took charge later in 2017, Uber has been reforming as it hopes to build a stronger relationship with its drivers while focusing on its core markets. Leave a Comment

Barney Hartford Investments

2 Investments

Barney Hartford has made 2 investments. Their latest investment was in PlayFab as part of their Series A on February 2, 2015.

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Barney Hartford Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

2/27/2015

Series A

PlayFab

$7.4M

Yes

7

Other Investors

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$99M

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10

Date

2/27/2015

Round

Series A

Other Investors

Company

PlayFab

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Amount

$7.4M

$99M

New?

Yes

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Co-Investors

Sources

7

10

Barney Hartford Portfolio Exits

1 Portfolio Exit

Barney Hartford has 1 portfolio exit. Their latest portfolio exit was PlayFab on January 29, 2018.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

1/29/2018

Acquired

3

Date

1/29/2018

Exit

Acquired

Companies

Valuation

Acquirer

Sources

3

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