- Didi, China’s top ride-hailing #startup, last month secured US$5.5 billion but did not reveal where the money came from. This afternoon, however, Japan’s Softbank spilled the beans – it contributed most of the funding. US$5 billion, to be precise.
- Softbank disclosed the investment in its latest quarterly earnings report, as spotted by TechCrunch.
- A source close to the deal tells Tech in Asia that two major financial institutions – Bank of Communications and China Merchant’s Bank – plus US-based Silver Lake Partners coughed up the remaining half a billion bucks. The input values Didi at over US$50 billion.
Why it matters:
- Softbank has been one of the canniest China tech investors, turning an initial US$20 million bet on Alibaba into a US$50 billion return.
- Since acquiring Uber’s unit in China, Didi has invested in a similar app in Brazil and opened a lab in Silicon Valley that’s focused on artificial intelligence. The fresh funding will likely go into similar tech and expansion efforts.