Rumors have been circulating for the past month that Didi Chuxing was homing in a mammoth new funding round, and today the Chinese ride-hailing titan has confirmed that it has indeed closed a gargantuan $5.5 billion financing round.
The money will be used as part of its efforts to “build an efficient and sustainable global mobility ecosystem,” according to a statement issued by the company.
Didi Chuxing came to fruition in early 2015 following a merger between local rivals Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. Similar to Uber, DiDi Chuxing offers smartphone-based car services such as carpooling, taxis, and premium cars with drivers.
Today’s news comes less than a year after Didi Chuxing closed an even bigger $7.3 billion funding round, in which Apple contributed a cool $1 billion. A lot has happened since then, however, with Uber merging its Chinese operations with Didi in a $30 billion deal, while just last month it opened a fancy new artificial intelligence facility in Mountain View, California.
Historically, Didi has raised a mix of equity and debt financing, but with its latest round the company hasn’t revealed how the $5.5 billion is made up — it’s likely to be a mix of both equity and debt, however. Additionally, the company hasn’t revealed who the investors are in this round of funding, though we will update here if or when we find out.
Though Didi is the market leader in China, the company is pretty much unknown to consumers elsewhere. But it does say that it’s “striving to advance the transformation of transportation and automotive industries through active internationalization plans.” Certainly, with the level of money it has raised over the past 12 months, it should be no surprise that it’s looking to expand its reach beyond its native country. The company has previously touted its global ambitions, and recently set up an international unit. Whether this leads to it launching a direct Uber rival in other markets remains to be seen, but following this latest funding round the company notes that it’s looking to bring “value to urban transportation markets around the world through cutting-edge big-data capabilities, products and expertise.”