Latin America is one of the main objectives of the Chinese transport company Didi . A year ago he took part in 99Taxis , a Brazilian ridehailing platform, for 100 million dollars. Now, Didi has acquired the majority of the capital of 99 in an operation of 900 million dollars .
The news of the acquisition of the Brazilian travel-sharing startup was published for the first time in the Brazilian financial publication Valor , which gives the agreement for fact. According to Valor, Didi will invest 600 million dollars in 99Taxis to take the shares of previous investors such as Riverwood Capital, Monashees, Qualcomm Ventures, Tiger Global and Softbank in the process. To them will be added an additional 300 million to boost the regional expansion of 99.
The startup, founded in 2012 in Sao Paulo and with a presence in 400 cities in Brazil, is a serious competitor for Uber in the Brazilian market. So far it has raised about 240 million dollars from 11 investors, according to TechCrunch.
When Didi made his first original investment in 99 , he compared Brazil and China in terms of their economic potential and how that would affect the growth of services such as carpooling. “China and Brazil are the main emerging markets of the world, with huge opportunities for our travel-sharing industry,” said Didi CEO Cheng Wei at the time.
The expansion of 99 beyond Brazil is a key point of the operation. A year ago, the São Paulo startup said it would use Didi’s investment to expand into the rest of Latin America, competing not only with Uber but also with local companies such as EasyTaxi.
This regional growth strategy also seems to align with Didi’s interests . Last month, it was reported that the company was preparing to enter Mexico, along with the expansion in the Asian market through a franchise model.