Didi Kuaidi, Uber’s biggest rival in China, today confirmed that it has raised a $2 billion funding round. The valuation was not disclosed, but TechCrunch understands from sources that the round values Didi Kuaidi at $15 billion.
The deal, which follows weeks of speculation and is the first financing following the merger between rival services Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, has been left open for additional input froms strategic investors. The company said it will officially close at the end of this month.
“Due to tremendous interest from global investors, the company had previously raised the financing target [which was believed to initially be $1.5 billion] and is looking to raise a further few hundred million dollars from new investors before the final closing in the coming month,” the company said in a statement.
Didi Kuaidi didn’t disclose its full investor list, but those being made public include new backers Capital International Private Equity Fund and Ping An Ventures, in addition to existing investors Alibaba, Tencent, Temasek, and Coatue Management.
The round, which is the largest private equity raise in the world beating $1.5 billion raises from Facebook, Airbnb and Uber, takes the company’s cash reserves to $3.5 billion, so it said. Didi already handles three million rides per day in China — Uber claims one million there — but it plans to some lofty targets over the next three years, including 30 million passengers, 10 million daily drivers and a three minute pick-up guarantee across the country.
Did Kuaidi dominates the regular taxi market, but Uber moved a lot faster on peer-to-peer (P2P) rides. Leaked communication from the U.S. firm suggested that it holds 50 percent marketshare in this space in China — CEO Travis Kalanick said it is “substantially larger in many of our key cities” — but Didi Kuaidi said its new P2P service — launched June 1 — already covers 148 cities in China and receives 600,000 ride requests each day.
“At peak times, daily requests across the platform are approaching approximately 10 million which marks a record in the global consumer transportation industry,” Didi Kuaidi claimed in a statement.
The funding will also go towards upgrading the service’s platform, and funding data science research.
Uber is said to be raising more than $1 billion for its business in China. Game on!