Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc.—also known as Didi Kuaidi, China’s largest taxi and ride-sharing company—is attempting to raise enough money to value the startup app at $45 billion. Back in April, Didi Kuaidi raised $600 million from US hedge funds, valuing it at $8.75 billion; the new funding would more than double that and make Didi Kuaidi the second most valuable Chinese tech startup after smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp.
The separate Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache apps merged in February to create Didi Kuaidi and mitigate the costs of their competition, and collectively compete with foreign rival Uber. Didi Kuaidi has an almost 80 percent market share in China, but Uber has seized 11 percent since it entered the Chinese market last year. The funds would help Didi Kuaidi defend its top spot in China’s estimated $1 trillion car service industry against Uber.
Despite competition and attacks from regulators and competing drivers in China, Uber has had help from Chinese search engine giant Baidu. After a $200 million investment in December, Baidu has also given Uber access to the company’s mapping services, as well as the use of Baidu Wallet as a payment option.