China’s ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing announced on Monday that it would enter into South Africa. The SoftBank backed firm already serves 600 million users in 16 countries across Russia, Latin America, Australia, and Asia.
“DiDi South Africa understands the challenges communities and the transportation industry face with the evolution of urban mobility (rideshare) and as a result is committed to creating the freedom and convenience to go places, open up horizons and give access to new experiences through our platforms.” the company said in a statement.
“South Africa has been hit particularly hard by this pandemic that has upended all of our lives – so as this beautiful country looks to recover and rebuild, we would like to do our part, to be a partner in building back better by providing better earning opportunities for drivers as well as safer and more affordable mobility options for everyone,”said Stephen Zhu, Senior Vice President and Head of DiDi’s International Business.
Didi is also planning to raise as much as $500 million at a $6 billion valuation “as China’s answer to Uber attempts to supercharge growth beyond its core businesses ahead of an anticipated initial public offering this year.”
The new proceeds will help Didi speed up mass production of driverless vehicles and invest in technologies like artificial intelligence chips, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Plans for the latest fundraising could still change as considerations are at an early stage, according to the people.