Uber China raises US $1.2B, Kalanick says

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By JING GAO

Uber China has raised US $1.2 billion in a new funding round led mostly by Chinese investors, including search giant Baidu, placing its valuation at US $8 billion.

In an exclusive interview with Chinese news site Sina, Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, revealed that the new round is being drawn mostly from Chinese investors and that it has not concluded yet. Uber could still raise more from interested parties, including quite a number of Chinese state-owned enterprises.

This also marks the first time the San Francisco-based ride-sharing startup has raised funds for its subsidiary as a separate entity.

Kalanick did not disclose the exact amount of Baidu’s investment or the names of the other investors.

In a June letter to its global investors, Kalanick said Uber was getting almost one million rides per day and the business had doubled over the previous month, according to Financial Times.

Uber has expanded its ride-sharing business to more than 100 cities around the world. It entered China in 2014 and currently operates in 11 Chinese cities. Uber’s top three cities, in terms of total number of rides, are all based in China with Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Chengdu, knocking New York down to fourth place.

While China is Uber’s largest market outside the United States, it has not yet won the battle in China. Didi Kuaidi, a Chinese cab-hailing and ride-sharing app backed by Alibaba and Tencent, occupies 80% of the market and claimed recently to have fundraised US $3 billion. One billion more than its previous effort of two billion back in July.

(Photo credit: Yesky.com)

Jing Gao

Jing founded her own blog Ministry of Tofu and worked with Los Angeles Times, Greenpeace and LinkAsia. She graduated with a master's degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois.

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