Didi Chuxing may be planning to raise some money soon. As per reports that are coming in from various sources, the company is planning to raise a massive, $6 Billion round of funding that could be led by none other than Japan’s Softbank. The report comes from Bloomberg, which also says that the funding if realized, could well be the largest raised by a Chinese startup till date.
The investment could also draw investors like Apple and Tencent. This is because the investment is very likely to dilute the stakes of existing shareholders. Joining the investment on a pro rata basis would allow them to avoid the dilution of their shares. Meanwhile, Softbank is already an investor in the company. What is not clear at this point, is whether the amount would come from Softbank’s $100 Billion fund or if, the company would draw upon some of its other assets.
Considering that Apple and Tencent are also thinking of investing in the Didi Chuxing, the round could well draw a host of other important names as well. Foxconn, Alibaba are also investors in Didi and it is only too reasonable to expect that they will be doing their bit to ensure that their shares are not diluted. Again, none of this is certain. Didi Chuxing has over 100 investors abroad and which of them will chose to participate in a Softbank led round — if it even takes place — remains to be seen.
The more interesting question here has do with the utilization of such a capital, Didi Chuxing has already acquired Uber China and with that, it no longer has any immediate competition to worry about. The most likely use this capital will be put to, is the development of self-driving vehicles. Didi is lagging behind where this particular area is concerned and although the company has made provisions for collecting data through some of its cars, it still has to come up with some concrete development in the field.
Didi CThe Chinese behemoth has recently opened up offices in the Silicon Valley and has also started hiring employees from Uber and Waymo’s self-driving car teams.