Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing company, has raised greater than $5.5 billion in what is being billed as the largest round of funding for a technology company.
According to a report in Bloomberg News, the funding will be used for expansion beyond China and for driverless technology. The latest round of funding, which Didi disclosed to Bloomberg via an email statement late last week, enables the company to go into new markets — from artificial intelligence to auto financing.
Didi did not tell Bloomberg who the investors were for this round of funding, but people familiar with the matter named Softbank Group, Silver Lake Kraftwerk, China Merchants Bank Co. and an arm of Bank of Communications Co. as the investors.
With the latest fundraising, Didi now has a market valuation of around $50 billion, higher than the $34 billion valuation it had when it acquired Uber’s China business. Didi now holds the status as the most valuable startup around the globe after Uber.
According to Bloomberg, with the latest round of fundraising, Didi now counts more than 100 investors as backers, including Tencent, Alibaba, Tiger Global Management and Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp. Its latest round exceeds the previous record for a single tech-industry funding set by Ant Financial, an Alibaba affiliate, last year, reported Bloomberg, citing researcher Preqin.
In August Didi inked a deal with Uber in which Uber took a 20 percent stake in the company. The deal also involved Didi investing $1 billion in Uber at a $68 billion valuation as part of the deal. Uber will not disappear from China — it will continue to operate under its old name, though now as part of the Didi family. Uber has been struggling for dominance in the Chinese market since launching there in 2013 — and for a time was considered one of the few America-to-China tech success stories.