Didi Chuxing, the on-demand giant that drove Uber out of China, is set to become the world’s second-highest valued tech startup.
Beijing-based Didi is in the process of raising a round that could reach as high as $6 billion at a valuation that would exceed $50 billion, a source with knowledge of discussions told TechCrunch. That’s not far from Uber itself, which is said to be valued at over $60 billion. Bloomberg originally reported the raise, rumors of which first began circulating last month.
Didi declined to comment.
The new deal would represent a significant hike on the company’s most recent $28 billion valuation when it closed a colossal $7.3 billion investment that included money from Apple and China Life.
The $50 billion-plus valuation would also make Didi the tech industry’s second highest valued startup (‘or private tech firm’) behind only… Uber. (Of course!) Currently, Didi is ranked fourth, according to data from Crunchbase, but the new round could take its valuation past that of fellow Chinese firms Xiaomi ($45 billion) and Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial ($50 billion) which currently sit second and third, respectively, behind Uber on the valuation ladder.
The source told TechCrunch that some of the investors in Didi’s new round will include existing backers Bank of Communications, China Merchants Bank and SoftBank. U.S.-based Silver Lake, which recently raised a $15 billion fund — its fifth to date — is set to join as a new investor in the round. The firm counts Didi investor Alibaba, and Alibaba’s local commerce affiliate Koubei among its portfolio of deals.
All of this comes while Didi waits upon the completion of its acquisition of Uber’s China business. The deal was first announced on August 1, but it is subject to numerous regulatory bodies. More recently, Didi has forayed into the U.S. with a California-based research lab that is dedicated to developing artificial intelligence and self-driving car technology. It even poached a high-profile Uber researcher as part of its U.S. push. It also expanded into focus into Latin America, via a $100 million investment, and it backed one of China’s top bike-sharing companies, Ofo, last year.