30 April, 2017
Beijing based-Didi, which claims almost 90 percent of China's ride-hailing market after buying rival Uber's assets in the country a year ago, said it would use the money to "support its global strategy and continued investments in AI-based technologies". The firm led a $100 million investment in Brazilian ride-hailing service 99 in January and opened a research lab in Silicon Valley last month dedicated to artificial intelligence and self-driving-tech related research.
The round may close as soon as this week and would lift Didi's valuation to about $US50 billion, up from a previous $US34 billion after its acquisition of Uber Technologies's China business, said one of the people, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
Ant Financial, China's most valuable private internet finance firm and an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, is valued upwards of $60 billion. Didi has invested $30 million in India based Ola Cabs and has participated in a $350 million funding round of GrabTaxi, SEA's largest ride hailing service. The list of entities who took part in the latest round of funding has not been revealed, but sources said it could be SoftBank Group Corp., Silver Lake Kraftwerk, China Merchants Bank Co. and an arm of Bank of Communications Co. The valuation is massive since Didi has a presence now limited to China although it is present India in an alliance with the local ride-hailing app, Ola. Internationally the company has partnered with several firms for intelligent driving using AI and smart ride-hailing services.
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Uber received 20 percent ownership of the company, and also $1 billion.
Part of the latest investment will be used for Didi's global expansion, the people said.
Didi Chuxing known as "China's Uber" is slowly edging towards global expansion.