Didi Chuxing is the dominant ‘taxi hailing’ service provider in China. It is the direct competitor of the much reported UBER, and Lyft. With a fresh $4 Billion raised, the company intends to dive deeper into making ‘Artificial Intelligence’ a major part of its growth prospects, domestically and internationally.
Uber’s main rival in Asia is now valued at $50bn, according to Reuters, as it looks to invest in artificial intelligence and open services beyond China. Uber current valuation stands at $68.5bn, although this may have dipped after Softbank’s offer to buy shares at a discount rate in November.
A consortium of Chinese and international investors took part in the round, including Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Capital and Japanese communications group SoftBank, which is already a major investor in the ride-hailing platform, according to people close to the matter.
Didi said it intends to use the proceeds to “scale up investments in AI (artificial intelligence) talent and technologies, to further build up its intelligent driving and smart transportation capabilities, and to bring more innovative and diversified transportation services to broader communities around the world.”
Didi claims to operate the world’s largest fleet of electric cars. Out of the two million electric vehicles currently on the road in China, more than 260,000 are on its platform, it said, which overall has 450 million users and 21 million drivers, and includes a ride-hailing app, as well as taxi, minibus and car rental services. The company’s goal is to increase that amount to one million electric vehicles by 2020.