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December 22, 2017

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Didi gets US$4b in equity financing

CHINA’S leading ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing managed to attract US$4 billion funding from domestic and overseas investors, months after a funding round that made it Asia’s most valuable startup, as it presses on with a global battle with US giant Uber.

The new equity funding would be used to support the company’s building of artificial intelligence capacity, and new business initiatives, including the development of new energy vehicle service networks.

Last month, Didi said it has set up a joint venture with the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization to build its own electric vehicle charging systems to serve its own fleet as well as private and public vehicles. Didi said in an e-mailed statement that it aims to build new energy vehicle services and systems that face the next generation of transport and mobility solutions to support sustainable development.

The names of the investors were not disclosed, and Didi is already backed by technology giants including Apple, Alibaba and Tencent as well as state-backed institutions such as China Life Insurance and Ping An Group.

Didi, which bought Uber’s China operations last year, has nearly half a billion users around the world and handles up to 25 million rides per day. It will see its valuation rise to US$56 billion, sources close to the matter told AFP.

It became Asia’s most valuable startup in April with a valuation of US$50 billion after its previous round of fundraising.

Uber and Didi have been fighting a global turf war since Didi bought out the US firm’s China operations.

Didi has been battling for global market share with Uber by working with local firms through investment or partnership, including Southeast Asia’s Grab, India’s Ola, US-based Lyft, and Europe’s Taxify.

Bloomberg News has said Didi was in talks with Japanese taxi operator Daiichi Koutsu Sangyo to provide riding services for Chinese tourists in Japan.



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