Uber’s China Rival Said to Raise Funds From Ping An, Capital

Didi Kuaidi, the Chinese car-booking business, has attracted funding from Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. and Capital International Private Equity Funds, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hillhouse Capital Management and Coatue Management are also investing, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. In total, nearly $2 billion was raised in the latest round, valuing the company at about $15 billion, the people said.

Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc., the company that owns the Didi and Kuaidi apps, said in June that its initial fundraising target was oversubscribed in five days and the company might increase the amount to be raised. Uber plans to invest more than $1 billion in the country this year, according to a letter that the San Francisco-based car-booking app sent to investors.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. and SoftBank Corp. are backing Didi Kuaidi.

Private car requests have tripled to 3 million daily rides on Didi Kuaidi platforms since May and gross merchandise volume is expected to reach $12 billion by the end of this year, according to Didi’s June 26 letter to investors.

Li Min, a spokesman for Didi, declined to comment on the investors involved. Alex Xiao, a spokeswoman for Ping An, said she couldn’t immediately comment. Representatives at the other investors didn’t immediately comment or couldn’t be reached.

Ping An and Capital’s investment was reported earlier Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal.

The Didi and Kuaidi apps, which form China’s largest taxi and ride-sharing platform, merged this year to limit the rising costs of competing with each other and Uber. The Chinese company works directly with existing taxi drivers, sidestepping some of the protests Uber has faced in the country.

Didi Kuaidi still runs separate apps that customers use to access their service, while combining their technology and data. The company has 1.5 million taxi drivers in its network out of the 2 million in all of China, according to the letter to investors.

Baidu Inc., China’s largest search engine operator, in December agreed to buy a stake in Uber.

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