Thursday, June 02, 2016

No two countries with Uber have gone to war with each other

OK that was an attempt to generate a Tom Friedman style factoid. But anyway, via Saudi Press Agency --

The investment, part of Uber’s Series G fundraising round, is one of Public Investment Fund (PIF’s) single largest international transactions to date and the first since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced Vision 2030, the overarching plan for diversifying the Kingdom’s economy. As part of this investment, PIF will take a seat on Uber’s Board of Directors. “Our experience in Saudi Arabia is a great example of how Uber can benefit riders, drivers and cities. We appreciate the vote of confidence in our business and look forward to partnering with the Kingdom to support their economic and social reforms,” said Travis Kalanick, CEO and co-founder of Uber.

There are several things going on, but one might be the government hedging its bets on whether it can push through liberalized rules allowing women to drive. If it can't, then cheaper and more accessible taxi services is a second option. The tie-in also illustrates, again, that "Wahabbism" should not be confused with an aversion to technology. If anything, it's the opposite. 

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