Chinese Uber copycat Didi Kuaidi is approaching the $3 billion mark in its fundraising efforts, while Uber’s Chinese ride hailing service has now raised $1.2 billion, according to expert investor and two people who have inside knowledge of the companies.
Both companies are being described as the world's most valuable startups.
The experts say the cash that Didi Kuaidi and Uber China have managed to pull in shows that investors are not put off by the two companies recent heavy spending on subsidizing fares and marketing as they have calculated China will become the world's biggest internet-linked transport market.
Experts say the ratio of car ownership to population was also an attractive lure for car sharing services, as was the traffic congestion in major cities, which many commuters did not want to navigate themselves.
A Didi Kuaidi spokesman said the company, which currently can claim to having the lion's share of car-hailing apps in China, had raised $2 billion in July with that amount expected to be significantly higher now due to "tremendous interest " from investors globally.
The spokesman declined to give an exact amount on what had been raised, but a company insider told reporters the figure was close to $3 billion.The company has been valued at $16.5 billion.
Travis Kalanick, Uber's chief executive officer, said Uber China has so far received$1.2 billion in its ongoing fundraising, including an investment from Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. Kalanick is speaking in Beijing today at the annual general meeting and conference of Baidu, which is ironically also a Didi Kuaidi investor.
Didi Kuaidi's other major investors include Baidu's main rivals Tencent and Alibaba Group, Hillhouse Capital, Capital International Private Equity Fund, Coatue Management, China Investment Corp, Ping An Insurance Group, and Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings.