Kuaididache fills war chest for impending battle
Kuaididache boosted its market valuation to US$4 billion following the completion of the round D financing that raised close to US$800 million.
Kuaididache boosted its market valuation to US$4 billion following the completion of the round D financing that raised close to US$800 million from Alibaba, Tiger Fund and two other major funds, according to a reliable source.
In two earlier rounds of financing this year, Kuaididache raised US$100 million from four groups including Alibaba and New Horizon Capital in a Series B round in Spring Festival, and an unconfirmed sum in the Series C financing in September. It has been rumored that Tiger Fund invested US$200 million in this round.
The latest round of financing will possibly bring total investment for Kuaididache to over US$1 billion from combined financing in 2014 .
Kuaididache and Didi Taxi dominate Chinese taxi app market. Both are now consolidating their turf in major cities like Beijing and Hangzhou after a cut-throat commission war. Kuaididache holds 61% of the domestic taxi hailing software market. Its network covers 358 Chinese cities including Hong Kong, according to iResearch.com. Last July, it launched No 1 Chauffeur service in 50 cities targeting middle-class customers.
The source believes that Kuaididache will inject the newly raised funds into developing No 1 Chauffeur service. Kuaididache will be prepared to face keen competition from rivals – Tencent-backed Didi Taxi and Baidu-backed Uber with a mature business model.
The involvement of the three Chinese tech giants Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (BAT) in the chauffeur market will almost certainly trigger a fierce price war. In the international market, Uber with market valuation of US$40 billion is shifting its focus to the Asia Pacific market, while India’s Ola and Singapore’s GrabTaxi also received significant investments from Japan’s Softbank.
The ongoing competition in the Chinese taxi app market has already noticeably intensified in the last two months, industry players observed. Taxi drivers in a number of cities have reported that the commissions from Kuaididache and Didi Taxi are nudging up to the levels of the price war at the beginning of the year.(Translation by David)