China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing raises USD 4B for financing
Founder: Cheng Wei
Founded in: 2012
Financing status: RMB 26 billion (USD 4 billion) for financing in 2017
China’s ride-hailing giant, Didi Chuxing, raised USD 4 billion on December 21 for AI, international expansion, and EV.
Didi Chuxing is China’s top ride-hailing startup that has spread ride-hailing services around the world. After purchasing its rival Uber’s Chinese operations last year, Didi has been working on pushing its business globally. In March, Didi opened a research and development lab in Silicon Valley to focus on autonomous driving technologies and AI-oriented security. The lab now has about 100 staff members.
Additionally, Didi has expanded its network globally through investments in companies that take on Uber across the world, including Lyft from the U.S., Taxify from Europe, Careem from the Middle East, Ola from India, as well as companies in Southeast Asia. Earlier this month, Didi disclosed its plan to expand to Mexico, and the company also has plans to expand to Taiwan with a local partner, LEDI Technology Co., which Didi announced a few days ago.
Referring to electric vehicles, Didi said last month that it is building charging networks in China to support the EV transportation system by cooperating with governments and the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization. According to their own estimates, Didi currently operates 260,000 EVs for ride-hailing services, and aims to increase that number to one million by 2020.
Since its founding in 2012, so far Didi has gained 450 million users and 21 million drivers from its ride-hailing app. Besides taxi, it also operates minibuses and car rental services.
Previously, Didi had already raised USD 13 billion from a group of investors, including Alibaba, Tencent, and Apple. However, investors for the latest financing round are undisclosed. According to a statement from Didi during the announcement of funding, Didi claimed that “Chinese and international investors joined the latest fundraising round.” Meanwhile, Didi confirmed that two existing investors, SoftBank and Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Capital, were participating in this round.
Because of its new financing round, Didi’s valuation increased to USD 56 billion, while it was at USD 50 billion when it completed its USD 5.5 billion financing round in April. The capital raised in this new financing round will be used to develop its artificial intelligence technology, as well as further invest in global expansion and electric vehicle initiatives.
(Top photo from Baidu Images.)