In accordance with its aim of raising massive funds in order to expand in the Chinese market, Uber China is set to conclude a funding round that has seen it raise almost $1.4 billion, reports Bloomberg.
The information, which came from people close to the heart of the matter, identified a few of the investors, stating that corporations including Baidu Inc., a unit of China’s Citic Group Corp. and China Life Insurance Co. are among those who have participated in this round. In fact, as a show of its faith in its Chinese operations, Uber itself is putting in somewhere between $300 million to $500 million.
Uber China, which is currently valued at $ 7 billion, is also expected to list in Hong Kong or mainland China markets after five or so years, said Bloomberg.
The funding comes at a time when Uber is competing against Didi Kuaidi, China’s biggest domestic cab-hailing firm, with close to 80% of the overall market share. The made-in-China service –that has the backing of Internet giants such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. — is going pretty strong and managed to raise a colossal $2 billion from investors recently.
China, with its massive population, and the enormous potential it has for an operating transportation service, certainly occupies one of the top slots on the Uber radar. In fact, if a letter, written by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to investors in June is to be believed, the company is planning to invest more than 7 billion towards expansion in China, where its business is expected to outstrip Uber operations on its home turf of the US.
Well, that should certainly explain the company’s frantic investment drive, it has a lot of catching up to do. As matters stand, Didi Kuaidi accounts for almost 78 percent of the country’s private-car business.
We’ve asked Uber for a comment, and will update this story once (and if) we receive a statement.