Didi Chuxing has announced another gargantuan equity funding round, this one to the tune of $4 billion.
This latest round comes just eight months after the Chinese ride-hailing company raised $5.5 billion, which came a year after a $7.3 billion raise from some big-name backers, including Apple. This new cash injection takes Didi’s total inbound investments to $19.7 billion, though the company didn’t reveal who the investors were, beyond stating that they were “Chinese and international institutions.”
With another $4 billion in the bank, Didi plans to double down on its artificial intelligence (AI) investments, support its global expansion, and boost other initiatives, such as “new energy vehicle service networks,” according to a statement issued by the company.
The story so far
Didi Chuxing was born of a merger between local rivals Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache in 2015. Similar to Uber, Didi Chuxing offers smartphone-based car services, such as carpooling, taxis, and premium cars with drivers. It has also previously revealed how it lends its data to cities, which are leveraging the information in all manner of ways to fight road congestion.
Though Didi Chuxing’s core ride-hailing service is limited to China, the company has been spreading its proverbial wings by investing in rivals elsewhere in the world. In many ways, this investment strategy could also be helping stymie Uber’s traction in key markets. For example, back in August Didi invested in Careem, an Uber rival that’s popular in dozens of cities across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. That same month, it also invested in Taxify, an e-taxi company that operates in Europe and Africa. Elsewhere, Didi has plowed money into Uber’s U.S. rival Lyft, and in India it invested in Ola, as well as Southeast Asia’s Grab.
And let’s not forget that Uber unfurled the white flag on its Chinese dream last year when it elected to merge its local operations with Didi in a $30 billion deal. Plus, earlier this year Didi opened a fancy new AI facility in Mountain View, California.
So Didi’s latest cash bounty will essentially help it do what it has already been doing, but at even greater scale. The company will likely make further investments in transport-related companies around the world while also developing new technologies, or “smart transport solutions,” aimed at helping cities fight traffic.