China's Didi completes over $5.5 bn financing round

Didi has sought to expand overseas with an investment into taxi-booking app Grab last year following closely on the heels of a tie-up with Lyft

More multi-digit deals in the global taxi app sector, the biggest of which is China's Didi closing a $5.5 billion funding round.

Didi Chuxing, the Chinese equivalent of Uber, has closed a US$5.5 billion funding round.

It also propels Didi well above Xiaomi Inc, which held the title of China's most valuable startup after a 2014 funding round valued the smartphone maker at $46 billion. The company, in a statement told TechCrunch that the investment would be used for continuing the company's global expansion and exploration of new technology such as artificial intelligence in its transportation setup. The list of entities who took part in the latest round of funding has not been revealed, but sources said it could be SoftBank Group Corp., Silver Lake Kraftwerk, China Merchants Bank Co. and an arm of Bank of Communications Co.

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Didi, China's leading car-hailing service, which boasts over 20 million daily orders, made a strategic investment in ofo, one of the country's top bike-sharing services, in September 2016.

Didi Chuxing is based out of Beijing.

Part of the latest investment will be used for Didi's global expansion, the people said.

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Didi's new valuation includes its acquisition of Uber's China operations, which it bought past year following a fierce battle between the rivals that was losing both companies money.

Cheng and President Jean Liu hope that adopting driverless technology will help overcome such hurdles in the future.

China's homegrown answer to Uber is about to become the world's second most valuable startup. Didi wants to take advantage of data on 300 million users across some 400 cities. It's already lured dozens of stalwarts in the field including former Uber auto-security expert Charlie Miller, known for remotely hacking into a Jeep Cherokee in 2015.

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Didi has raised over US$ 10 billion in debt and equity from investors including conglomerates such as Apple, Tencent and Alibaba.

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