China’s top taxi app company confirms record-breaking $2 billion funding round
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Photo credit: Shutterstock, Sean Pavone, Beijing skyline

This is the biggest ever funding round for a private company, beating Uber’s US $1.2 billion series D and series E rounds

Tech in Asia

China’s top taxi app startup, Didi Kuaidi (the new name for the proposed merger between Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache), revealed today that it has raised a record-breaking US $2 billion in funding. The money came from Capital International Private Equity Fund and Ping An Ventures, as well as “several other globally renowned investors” that went unnamed. Existing investors like Alibaba, Tencent, and Temasek also contributed to this bumper new investment.

This is the biggest ever funding round for a private company, beating Uber’s US $1.2 billion series D and series E rounds, as well as US $1.5 billion private equity rounds for Airbnb and Facebook.

This is a confirmation of the rumors from the start of the month. Didi Kuaidi said today that the fundraising campaign started only two weeks ago.

Didi Kuaidi “is looking to raise a further few hundred million dollars from new investors before the final closing in the coming month,” this morning’s statement added.

The two apps claim to serve a combined 30 million passengers and 10 million drivers daily across China.

A pricey fight against Uber

Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache have a monopoly on China’s market for app-connected taxi rides, and are backed by Tencent and Alibaba respectively. February’s proposed merger has not yet been given regulatory approval. It marked a surprise cooperation between arch-rival tech titans Tencent and Alibaba, for whom taxi rides are an important part of their mobile commerce and mobile wallet ambitions (for WeChat Payment and Alipay respectively).

Both apps have branched out more recently to tackle Uber with private car rides. While the services aimed at people wanting to take licensed city cabs have prospered, the web-connected private car rides – and Uber itself – have hit many regulatory roadblocks in China, including tense protests among taxi drivers that have sometimes turned violent.

This article first appeared in Tech in Asia.

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