Didi Lands $500 Million from Booking Holdings in Pursuit of Global Markets
Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd., China's largest car-sharing firm, has scored a $500 million investment from a U.S. travel giant Booking Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: BKNG) in its push to expand outside domestic markets.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, the two firms announced their agreement, which includes strategic cooperation, as users of Booking's apps would be able to book Didi cabs. Didi riders, in return, would be able to access Booking's services through the ride-sharing platform, the Chinese company said.
Didi has been pushing heavily into new overseas markets, where it hopes to challenge U.S. ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. Within the past year, the company has landed around $10 billion in funding. Its December round, which raised $4 billion, financed Didi&`#`39;s expansion into Mexico, Australia, and Japan.
The company has also invested in a handful of Uber competitors in other markets, including Brazil's 99, India's Ola, Singapore's Grab, and U.S.-based Lyft.
Didi, which continues to pursue its initial public offering in Hong Kong, is currently valued at $56 billion. The ride-hailing giant is also looking to launch a public offering for its car services unit in a deal that could be worth as much as $1.5 billion.
Booking Holdings, which currently holds a market value of $97 billion, controls some of the world's most popular travel booking sites including Bookings.com, Agoda.com, KAYAK, and Priceline.com.
China's travel booking market is already heavily dominated by local firms, including Ctrip.com International Ltd. (Nasdaq: CTRP), which earlier this year signaled its intention to enter the ride-hailing market, posing a potential challenge to Didi.
Booking has customers and partners in nearly 220 countries, while a large majority of Didi's 550 million users are in China.
(Reuters contributed to this article)