The taxi hailing and aggregation space is quickly turning into a hot zone as the war between Uber and Ola extends Indian borders. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is an ancient idea that Alibaba-backed Didi Kuaidi might be putting to test.
According to a TOI report, it may invest in homegrown Ola and provide it with the arsenal to take down its cash-rich rival Uber.
TOI sources who are close to the development revealed that Ola is finalising the second tranche of $200 Mn of its $500 Mn financing round led by GIC – Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, Didi Kuaidi and Baillie Gifford – a Scottish investment firm which is a shareholder in Flipkart. This will put the valuation of Ola at $5 Bn.
Earlier this week, Ola had raised $225 Mn as part of the $500 Mn round, in a round led by existing investor Falcon Edge Capital. Tiger Global Management LLC, Softbank and six other investors also participated in this round.
After investing a small amount in Ola during its $400 Mn fundraising round, GIC is expected to pump-in $100 Mn this time. Didi may invest around $30 Mn and Yuri Milner’s DST Global may participate in this round.
Travis Kalanick-led Uber is holding the fort down quite well as it plans to raise $1 Bn India-centric funds, just like it raised $1.2 Bn for China recently. Uber is the most-valued tech company in the world; with a valuation of $51 Bn. It recently broke Facebook’s record to become the youngest privately-held company to cross the $50 Bn valuation mark.
Didi Kuaidi is China’s largest taxi aggregator app and is presently valued at $16 Bn. This transportation behemoth was created when Didi Dache, China’s largest taxi hailing app backed by internet giant Tencent Holdings and its competitor Kuaidi Dache – backed by major players like Alibaba, SoftBank and Tiger Global – joined forces. It has become the biggest competitor of Uber and is powered by $4.4 Bn in investor money.