After beating out Uber on its home turf in 2016, China’s ride-sharing unicorn Didi Chuxing is ramping up its global expansion plans with another multibillion-dollar fundraising round. The company says it has obtained $4 billion in new financing, bringing its total valuation to $56 billion and giving it a cash reserve of $12 billion, Bloomberg reports. That follows $5.5 billion raised earlier this year, with Japanese tech and telecom giant SoftBank emerging as a key participant in both rounds.
TechCrunch notes: “That valuation is likely higher than Uber’s most recent/ongoing round. While the U.S. firm is estimated to be valued at between $68 billion and $70 billion, SoftBank’s recent invest came at a reported discount of 30 percent. Valuations are, of course, fluctuating, but you can imagine that Didi will crack a wry smile at the milestone at the very least.”
Where will the money go? Moving into overseas markets, artificial intelligence, and electric car networks were noted in the company’s statement. Didi opened an AI-focused lab in Silicon Valley earlier this year to develop self-driving and security technology.
While there’s no word of Didi getting into Uber’s stronghold on the U.S. market, other international plans that have been talked about include franchising its business in Taiwan, expanding in Mexico, and backing European player Taxify.