Chinese car-hailing app Didi Chuxing, which has been on a fundraising frenzy over the past few months, said it has raised a total of $7.3 billion in equity and debt that values the firm at an estimated $25 billion.
Didi, China’s most popular taxi-hailing service, closed a funding round that attracted $4.5 billion in investments, including $1 billion from Apple and $600 million from China Life Insurance. It also lined up a $2.5 billion debt package from China Merchants Bank and a long-term borrowing commitment of $305 million from China Life.
Didi, which reportedly now has $10.5 billion in cash, has been boosting its funding as it faces intense competition from US-based Uber, which has been expanding aggressively in China and across Asia Pacific. In early June Uber received $3.5 billion from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, the biggest investment it has received to date.
Uber recently said its market share in China has jumped from just 1 per cent to nearly 30 per cent over the past year or so, while its financial outlay per trip has dropped 75-80 per cent. It has been ramping up its operations in China since early January when a group of Chinese investors put nearly $2 billion into Uber. That move came shortly after four ride-hailing services — Didi, US-based Lyft, India’s Ola and Southeast Asia’s Grab – agreed to partner to scale up their services to compete against Uber.
Formerly known as Didi Kuaidi, the Chinese firm claims it completes more than 11 million rides a day, serving close to 300 million users in more than 400 Chinese cities.