Chinese ride-hailer Didi raises $4bn for growth abroad
Didi has expanded overseas rapidly in the past year since sealing its dominance in China
Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing Technology Co on Thursday said it has raised $4 billion in funds earmarked for expansion overseas and into areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), as it looks to challenge Uber Technologies Inc.
The fundraising values Didi at over $50bn.
Existing investor SoftBank Group participated in the latest funding, a spokesman for the Japanese firm confirmed, declining to specify the size of its investment.
"With a substantial cash reserve, Didi plans to scale up investments in AI talent and technologies," Didi said. The funds would also help Didi "bring more innovative and diversified transportation services to broader communities around the world."
Didi has expanded overseas rapidly in the past year since sealing its dominance in China with the purchase of Uber's local business in 2016, ending a cash-burning subsidy war that cost the US firm about $2bn.
Earlier this month it was reported that Didi was planning to enter Mexico next year, in what would be its first overseas operation not managed through a local partner.
On Wednesday, Didi announced it was looking at entering the Taiwanese market, and had authorized a franchisee operator to do research there on its behalf.
Didi has also invested in several of Uber's rivals globally, including US-based Lyft, Brazil's 99, India's Ola, Singapore's Grab, Estonia's Taxify and Careem in the Middle East.
Besides SoftBank, investors in Didi's previous funding rounds included Apple and Alibaba.
The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the fundraising had pushed Didi's cash reserves to $12bn from $3.5bn two years prior.
Updated: December 21, 2017 09:20 AM