China's Didi to raise $5 bln for overseas expansion

Posted April 30, 2017

Ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing has raised more than $5.5 billion from investors in China, marking the largest amount of funding earned by a technology company ever in the country.

The fresh funds will be used for global expansion, driverless auto technology and other advanced transportation technology, the person familiar with the fund raising said. The round was said to have raised the four-year-old startup's valuation to about $50 billion, up from a previous US$34 billion after its acquisition of Uber's China business.

The financing follows a massive US$4.5 billion equity funding in June a year ago from Apple, China Life, Ant Financial, as well as returning investors Tencent, Alibaba, China Merchants Bank and SoftBank. Sources familiar with the deal valued Didi at more than $50 billion.

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Apple has invested $1 billion in Didi. 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. The deal gave Uber a one-fifth stake in Didi. Internationally the company has partnered with several firms for intelligent driving using AI and smart ride-hailing services. The company is led by Cheng Wei, the former Alibaba manager who founded Didi Dache in 2012. Also, this would make Didi the tech industry's second highest valued startup behind only Uber. While the company has many partnerships with other ride-hailing service around the world, its own brand might soon be making an appearance on global roads.

Didi counts more than 100 investors as backers including Tencent Holdings, Alibaba, Tiger Global Management and China's sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp.

China's leading on-demand mobility platform Didi on Friday said it has completed a new financing round of over $5.5 billion to support global strategy and continued investments in artificial intelligence (AI).