Insurance companies, Internet giants and the Chinese government’s sovereign wealth fund are among the deep-pocket investors tapped in recent months to finance the app-based taxi alternatives available in dozens of Chinese cities.
Didi-Kuaidi, a company that some analysts have valued at US$ 16.5 billion, reportedly raised US$ 3 billion in early September from investors including sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp. (CIC), Ping An Insurance Co., BAIC Motor, Capital Group and the Japanese telecom SoftBank Corp. The company’s main investors are the e-commerce provider Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and the social media giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Uber, an American company whose Chinese investor-partner is the search engine Baidu Inc., said in August that it had raised at least US$ 1.2 billion from undisclosed investors to finance its growing China business. Although CIC and China Life Insurance Co. had been rumored as potential Uber backers, sources told Caixin neither was involved in the latest fundraiser.
Media reports in June said Uber hoped to raise US$ 2.5 billion globally, including US$ 1 billion from Chinese investors. Uber has also told investors its Chinese division is preparing to file for an initial public offering on a mainland stock exchange.