Chinese ride hailing giant Didi Chuxing has picked up a controlling stake in Brazilian ride hailing firm 99, according to news agency Reuters. A report in Techcrunch, later, claimed that Didi has officially confirmed the deal. The development signals Didi Chuxing’s global ambition as it looks to grow beyond the domestic Chinese market, where it is the undisputed market leader.
Didi hasn’t disclosed exactly how much stake it has taken in the Brazilian ride hailing firm, or valuation of the deal. However, people privy to the matter claim that the deal valued ‘99’ at little over $1 billion. Interestingly, Didi had already picked a minority stake in the firm, after it invested $100 million almost a year ago.
Didi’s decision to consolidate its presence in the Brazilian market comes almost a month after announcing that it plans to enter into the Mexican market in 2018. It is apparently clear now that in coming years Latin America market would witness a fierce battle between Didi Chuxing and Uber. Didi, which slayed Uber in China last year, will obviously be all pumped up to take on its embattled American rival. However, Uber may not prove to be a pushover this time around. Despite the recent scandals and unceremonious exit of Travis Kalanick last year, Uber has found a new energy under its new CEO and a latest funding round carried out by SoftBank.
Didi Chuxing has also simultaneously picked up stakes in several global rivals of Uber. This includes U.S’s Lyft, India’s Ola, Singapore’s Grab and Estonia’s Taxify. Besides, the Chinese ride hailing giant was in news recently following the $4 billion fund raising for investing in artificial intelligence and international expansion. Interestingly, SoftBank is said to be one of the investors that participated in this fund raising exercise.