China's Didi Chuxing backs Uber rival Taxify operating in Europe and Africa
Didi Chuxing, the world's largest mobile transportation services platform, announced a partnership with Uber rival Taxify to expand its presence beyond China.
A year after Didi Chuxing ousted Uber from China, the ride-hailing service is now partnering with Uber rival Taxify in a bid to expand its global presence. Taxify is an Estonia-based cab-aggregator that has established a presence in several European and African cities, often at the expense of the larger Uber.
The partnership reportedly involves an undisclosed investment by Didi in Taxify. While the deal gives Didi stake in Taxify, the latter's co-founders — Martin and Markus Villig and Oliver Leisalu — remain the majority owners of the four-year-old company.
Taxify is currently present in 18 countries including Hungary, Romania, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya, and claims to have 2.5 million users. Touting itself as the fastest-growing transportation app in Europe, the company now plans to use Didi's cash and expertise to expand beyond emerging markets in the two continents. The startup has so far raised only $2.17 million in funding.
Didi Chuxing is the world's largest mobile transportation services platform despite operating solely in China. The startup, which claims to have 400 million customers spread across 400 cities, forced Uber out of the country a year ago by merging with its Chinese division in a deal that saw Didi invest $1 billion in the Silicon Valley company.
Valued at $50 billion and having raised $13 billion in funding till date — it's the world's second-most valuable startup after Uber — Didi has been expanding its global presence in recent years with investments in ride-hailing companies like Lyft (USA), Ola (India), Grab (Singapore), and 99 (Brazil).
The strategic partnership with Taxify is Didi's first venture to back an Uber rival in Europe. It will allow the Estonian company to bolster its technology and catch up to the struggling Uber in its operating regions.