China ride-sharing firm Didi raises US$4b for global push
The logo of Didi Chuxing is seen at its headquarters in Beijing, May 18, 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)
BEIJING: Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing Technology on Thursday (Dec 21) said it has raised US$4 billion in funds earmarked for expansion overseas and into areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), as it looks to challenge Uber Technologies.The fundraising values Didi at over US$50 billion and involved Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Capital, two people familiar with the deal told Reuters. Mubadala did not respond to a request for comment.Existing investor SoftBank Group Corp also participated in the latest funding, a spokesman for the Japanese firm confirmed, declining to specify the size of its investment."With a substantial cash reserve, Didi plans to scale up investments in AI talent and technologies," Didi said in a statement. The funds would also help Didi "bring more innovative and diversified transportation services to broader communities around the world."Didi has expanded overseas rapidly in the past year since sealing its dominance in China with the purchase of Uber's local business in 2016, ending a cash-burning subsidy war that cost the US firm roughly US$2 billion.Earlier this month Reuters reported that Didi was planning to enter Mexico next year, in what would be its first overseas operation not managed through a local partner.
On Wednesday, Didi announced it was looking at entering the Taiwanese market, and had authorised a franchisee operator to do research there on its behalf.Didi has also invested in several of Uber's rivals globally, including US-based Lyft, Brazil's 99, India's Ola, Singapore's Grab, Estonia's Taxify and Careem in the Middle East.Besides SoftBank, investors in Didi's previous funding rounds included Apple and Alibaba Group.The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the fundraising had pushed Didi's cash reserves to US$12 billion from US$3.5 billion two years prior.
Source : http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/china-ride-sharing-firm-didi-raises-us-4b-for-global-push-9516130