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UAE-based Carasti car subscription expands to Saudi Arabia

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Carasti, a UAE-based car subscription has expanded operations into Saudi Arabia after the company raised $2 million in bridge round funding.

The subscription model allows clients to access new and used cars in periods of one month up to 24 months.

In an exclusive statement to Al Arabiya English, the company said that it is expecting 90 percent of the cars on the road to be on the subscription-based model, not privately owned, by 2030.

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“I’ve been visiting and doing business in Saudi Arabia for many years, and I can safely say that no country in the world is transforming as quickly or building for the future in the way that Saudi Arabia is,” CEO Claudio Esposito-Aiardo said in a media statement.

The CEO also said that Carasti will aim to reduce carbon emissions by offering a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs), a move that aligns with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals.

The goal to boost EVs in Riyadh comes as more countries attempt to reduce or phase-out internal combustion engines run on gasoline and petrol.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has been investing in EVs for several years, including in Tesla rival Lucid Motors Inc.

Earlier in March, Lucid announced that it has signed a $30 million lease agreement with Emaar Economic City for an industrial plot in King Abdullah Economic City outside Jeddah.

The 25-year lease will allow Lucid “to construct and operate automotive manufacturing and assembly facility together with all ancillary services,” Emaar Economic said in a statement then.

With a growing population of youth, and an even faster-growing female driver segment, the car rental and leasing market in Saudi Arabia is reported to grow to US $2.5 billion by 2026 based on a Mordor Intelligence report.

“After a successful 2.5 years of rapid growth in the UAE, we are now making it possible for Saudi drivers to get a car without any of the hassles of ownership,” said Esposito-Aiardo in the original statement.

The bridge round, which comes ahead of Carasti’s Series A funding round, saw participation from Net Ventures and Rua Growth Fund.

Currently, new clients in the Kingdom can avail a 50 percent discount on the first month of subscription, under the company’s Ramadan offer.

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