Down but not out, Didi seeks USD 2 billion in new funding

The company still has designs for the future of personal transportation in China.

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Down but not out, Didi seeks USD 2 billion in new funding

Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing platform, has kicked off a new round of financing, aiming to raise up to USD 2 billion from investors, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The firm plans to sell shares priced at the same level as when it raised funds in July 2018. After this round, Didi Chuxing will be valued at USD 62 billion.

An initial public offering isn’t expected until at least next year, said the Wall Street Journal.

Didi has not responded to KrASIA’s request for a comment on the matter.

Didi, which has been backed by SoftBank, Tencent, and Alibaba, once expanded quickly, beating rivals like Uber and Yidao to gain the largest market share in China. But the company is still going through tough times after two drivers offering rides on Didi’s platform raped and killed two young women.

The company has instituted changes to restore customer confidence, like improving how it responds to customer calls, adding in-vehicle cameras for surveillance, and making changes to its AI-powered order distribution system. Didi has pledged to spend RMB 2 billion (USD 290 million) on safety measures.

Earlier in the year, a financial data leak revealed that Didi racked up a deficit reaching RMB 10.9 billion in the 2018 financial year.

To maintain its dominant position in China’s ride-hailing sector, it has even invested in OnTime, a new ride-hailing platform backed by Tencent. It is also expanding globally, taking its operations to countries such as Japan.

Eyeing future growth, Didi is also investing in sectors that are relevant to its existing business, including autonomous driving and EV charging.

In May, Didi showcased an autonomous vehicle during an exposition held in Suzhou in East China’s Jiangsu province. Elsewhere, the company has teamed up with the government of China’s Hainan province and China Southern Power Grid to provide comprehensive EV charging services on the tropical island.