and Jack Ma visited Kenya then Didi Chuxing a partly owned firm invested in Taxify in a move for expansion into its regional markets, especially Europe and Africa. This in addition to some other significant ride-sharing companies.
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Didi Chuxing is a dominant player in China, Didi has been making strategic investments in cab or ridesharing companies around the world. Here are a selection of its deals:
- Didi invested an undisclosed amount of capital in Careem, a leading ridesharing service in the Middle East.
- Didi’s aforementioned investment in Lyft gives it exposure to an estimated 30 percent of the U.S. ridesharing market, according to recent market analysis by The Information.
- Didi’s participation in Ola’s $500 million Series F round gives it a stake in India.
- Didi and SoftBank’s $2 billion investment in Grab give both groups exposure to the rapidly growing Southeast Asian market.
- Its investment in Taxify gives Didi exposure to Eastern Europe and Africa.
- Didi’s leadership in 99’s $100 million Series C round (not pictured above) gives it a foothold in South and Central America.
- Didi invested $1 billion in Uber global at a $68 billion valuation as part of the Uber China merger in August 2016. That merger left Uber with a 20 percent stake in Didi at the time, then making it the largest single shareholder in Didi.
This investment strategy is, presumably, an effort to counter Uber’s global expansion. If this is the case, this strategy is an interesting exercise in investment. Rather than plowing considerable resources into developing ground operations in far-flung outposts around the world, like Uber has, Didi has instead bought up stakes in regionally dominant companies. Didi has joined SoftBank and other investors in a syndicate to purchase more shares of Uber.
Uber has a decent war chest to continue to build its operations in its many international markets, Didi is better capitalized, and has an alliance with SoftBank, the deepest pocket in VC, PE and buyouts today. As of right now, Didi is the most-funded company in the ridesharing space, with almost $4 billion more cash raised than Uber, to say nothing of debt and credit facilities. For Didi, buying its way to global domination of the ridesharing industry is a viable strategy.
With its reach expanding in scope and depth outside of China, Didi Taxify may be the ridesharing company to watch.
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