German chauffeur service Blacklane targets Middle East

German driver service Blacklane will IPO in the next three years. (Reuters)
Updated 01 May 2019

German chauffeur service Blacklane targets Middle East

  • Blacklane is expanding into 20 cities in the Middle East this year, including Cairo, and investing $10-$20 million in the expansion
  • Blacklane, which competes with the likes of British premium car service Addison Lee and UberBLACK, caters to business customers in 300 cities in 60 countries

DUBAI: German chauffeur service Blacklane is planning an initial public offering (IPO) in the next three years, its chief executive told Reuters, as it strives to build its position in the fast-growing premium taxi market.
Any flotation would follow those of larger ride-hailing rivals. US group Lyft listed last month with a valuation of $24.3 billion, while Uber is planning an IPO that values the company at $80.5-$91.5 billion.
“This would be a natural evolution of our business model and our traction to IPO in the next years to come. That’s pretty realistic,” Blacklane CEO Jens Wohltorf said in an interview on the sidelines of a tourism fair in Dubai. He declined to provide any details.
Blacklane, which competes with the likes of British premium car service Addison Lee and UberBLACK, the ride-hailing app’s luxury arm, caters to business customers in 300 cities in 60 countries.
Uber, by comparison, says it is available in more than 600 cities worldwide.
Blacklane is expanding into 20 cities in the Middle East this year, including Cairo, Wohltorf said.
It will invest $10-$20 million in the expansion, financed by the company and its shareholders, which include German premium carmaker Daimler AG and Abu Dhabi-based Al Fahim Group, he added.
Wohltorf said Blacklane’s core driver service was profitable, but that overall the company was not because it was expanding in areas such as airport express services.
“If we decide we don’t want to grow one hundred and twenty percent year over year anymore, but slower, we could immediately turn it around,” he said.
Blacklane currently does around half of its business in Europe, with about a third in the US and the rest in the Middle East and Asia.
The company was founded in Berlin in 2011.


Egyptian state banks collect over $10bn from high-yield savings product

Updated 16 min 26 sec ago

Egyptian state banks collect over $10bn from high-yield savings product

CAIRO: Egypt’s two biggest state banks have collected 171 billion Egyptian pounds ($10.5 billion) from a new high-yield savings product they introduced in March, officials from the two banks were quoted as saying on Saturday.
The one-year product, launched on March 22, carry a 15% yield.
An official at the National Bank of Egypt said it had collected 122 billion pounds, while Banque Misr’s chairman said it had gathered 49 billion pounds, state news agency MENA reported.