A company that has taxi hailing applications and is backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.is scheduling a fund raising campaign that puts the value at $12 billion to $15 billion, according to sources.
According to the people that have knowledge of the plans, Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc. will seek to raise more than $1.5 billion to compete with San Francisco-based Uber Technologies at home in China, said the sources, which remained anonymous because they are not allowed to talk about the strategy. The funding would gather new and old investors, with the company’s valuation likely to double as it gathered under a single corporate umbrella competing Didi and Kuaidi applications back in February. The two apps form the biggest Chinese taxi and ride-sharing platforms and merged to lower the costs of competing with each other, standing now united against Uber, which has been expanding globally. Recent reports have said Uber is going to pledge around one billion to expand its Chinese operations.
The world’s most populous country is not only the biggest single auto market on the planet, but also has an estimated one trillion dollars a year market for transportation services, with Didi Kuaidi continuing to run separate applications and only merging their technology and data to better compete against rivals such as Uber or Yidao Yongche. The upcoming round of valuation could also lift Didi Kuaidi to being one of the most valuable startups in China after smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp., which is seen worth around $45 billion.