China’s ride-hailing startup Didi, which rose to worldwide fame last year for driving out ride-hailing superpower Uber from its country, is now all set to become Asia’s most valuable startup.
According to a Bloomberg News report published a couple of days ago, the startup which completes 20 million rides daily in the world’s most populated country was on its way of closing a fund-raising deal that once done will take the startup’s value to a whopping USD 50 billion giving it the most valuable startup in Asia title. And, on Friday, the ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing disclosed in an emailed statement that it has successfully raised more than $5.5 billion from investors, scoring the single largest round of funding on record to bankroll an expansion beyond China and into driver-less technology. Didi didn’t disclose the name of the backers who joined this round.
Starting its journey five years back in 2012, Didi currently has over 90 per cent of China’s ride-hailing market. This was made possible after Didi successfully managed to win a multibillion-dollar and a year-and-a-half-long battle with Uber last year where the giant agreed to sell its business and leave the country. Before departing the country, Uber managed to grab a 17.7 per cent ownership stake in Didi and $1 billion in cash.
The Bloomberg News report had quoted a few people familiar with the deal and revealed back then that the Chinese ride-hailing giant is on its way raise $5 billion in a new financing agreement. According to WSJ, the deal will take the Beijing-based Didi’s valuation to USD 50 billion and make it the most valuable startup in Asia and number two in the world after Uber’s USD 68 billion valuation. Didi would replace the Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi at the number two position.
China, which is the world’s largest car-hailing market, legalised ride-hailing services only in July last year. Didi, which has operations in over 400 Chinese cities currently, is now planning to expand overseas with an investment into Southeast Asian taxi-booking app Grab last year, which was followed closely on the heels of a tie-up with Uber’s US rival Lyft. With investors such as Apple and Chinese internet giants Alibaba and Tencent by its side, we’re sure that Didi is soon going to rule the world ride-hailing market.