Careem FZ, a ride-sharing service that competes with Uber Technologies Inc. in the Middle East, is seeking as much as $500 million in new funding, according to people familiar with the matter.The company is working with Credit Suisse Group AG to find investors, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

The company, which was founded in 2012 and operates in about 30 cities, could be valued in excess of $1 billion after raising the capital, the people said.

No final agreement has been reached, the people said.A representative for Careem didn t immediately respond to a request for comment.

A representative for Credit Suisse declined to comment.Ride-hailing services globally are raising cash to fend off competition from larger rivals and expand their regional businesses.

Southeast Asian service provider Grab raised $750 million from investors led by SoftBank Group Corp. this month, in the largest-ever funding round for a consumer technology company in the region.Dubai-based Careem raised $60 million last year from investors including Abraaj Group to expand in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

Saudi Arabia s Public Investment Fund this year invested $3.5 billion in San Francisco-based Uber.Both Careem and Uber suspended their services in Abu Dhabi last month after reports emerged that police arrested drivers and impounded cars.

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