Didi Chuxing has confirmed the full extent of its latest funding round, just as Uber’s main rival in China announced it has raised a whopping $7.3 billion from a number of notable investors.
Some of the elements of Didi’s financing were announced as and when they happened — for example, Apple revealed a $1 billion investment in the Beijing-based etaxi firm last month. This announcement, which coincided with Apple CEO Tim Cook’s major charm offensive across the region, represents the biggest single investment Didi has ever received. And earlier this week, Didi announced that $600 million had been raised from state-owned China Life Insurance.
Didi Chuxing was born in early 2015 and was the result of a merger between local rivals Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. As with Uber, it offers a range of smartphone-based services such as carpooling, taxis, and premium cars with drivers. Didi is thought to be the market leader in China by quite some distance, though Uber is going all-in to tackle the market — Uber’s CEO recently revealed that the company is using profits from elsewhere to support its push into China. Uber is no stranger to gargantuan funding rounds either — it recently nabbed $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
As for Didi, its fresh cash influx consists of $4.5 billion in equity-based funding from Apple, China Life, and Ant Financial, among other new investors, while existing shareholders such as Tencent, Alibaba, China Merchants Bank, and SoftBank also participated. The remainder of the financing constitutes a syndicated loan facility of “up to” $2.5 billion via China Merchants Bank, while China Life has also committed to a “long-term debt investment” of $300 million. Didi says the new funds will be used to improve its technology, undertake big-data research, and explore potential new business verticals.
With this financing round now finalized, Didi is among one of the best-funded tech companies on earth, and claims to have around $10.5 billion in “disposable funds,” as the firm puts it.
“We are greatly inspired by strong support from investors worldwide who have demonstrated full confidence in Didi’s potential,” said Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of Didi in a press release. “In just four years, Didi has created a firm lead in China’s mobile transportation sector. With our advantages in technology, platform synergies and talented team, Didi is prepared to continue this momentum of growth. We will stay true to our original vision: to bring riders more enjoyable mobility experience and drivers broader opportunities for personal development, and to drive the future way of life in China as a world-class tech company.”