Didi-Kuaidi, China’s largest taxi-hailing ride service, has announced a record breaking $2 billion USD in funding lead by Capital International Private Equity Fund and Ping An Ventures. Fittingly, the record outstrips the $1.2 billion D and E series funding records of Uber, Didi’s fastest growing foreign competitor in China.
Didi-Kuadi is now estimated at a value of $15 billion USD. Didi President Jean Liu has already indicated in an interview that the round will be open over the coming month, hoping to raise several hundred million more.
According to the company, this brings the company’s cash reserves to $3.5 billion. Earlier this week, Chinese media reported that the Didi-Kuaidi partnership would soon begin o explore the American market with a series of R&D centers, however the company refused to comment on the matter.
The announcement comes as Uber is looking to raise new funds for its China operation. The San Francisco-based ride-sharing app indicated in a statement to investors last month that China would be the focus of their expansion over the coming year, with a plan to invest over $1 billion USD in developing its operations.
Despite their comparatively large cash reserves, Didi and Kuaidi have been slower to monetize than Uber. As a mere taxi hailing service, the Chinese company did not see the early profits of the Uber model, and have only relatively recently begun premium and carpooling services to boost potential revenue and stave off competition.
Uber has been growing steadily in China, despite legal issues meaning their namesake Uber X ride-sharing service has been banned for now. The currently operate black taxi services and a not-for-profit carpooling service.