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EMAILED ON July 18, 2018 BY Wes Schlagenhauf

The corporation formerly known as Priceline just invested half a billion in DiDi Chuxing

Booking Holdings, the parent company of travel sites like Priceline and Agoda, has invested $500m in Chinese ride-hailing giant DiDi Chuxing.

Say it with us… “Dee-dee Ch-uh-shing…”

According to TechCrunch, Booking will offer DiDi’s on-demand car services through Booking.com apps, while DiDi customers now have the option to book hotels through the website as well.

The perfect pairing

As China’s biggest rideshare company, DiDi’s always been more of an Uber, but, yearning to branch out, the accommodations industry seems like a natural fit — and that’s where Booking Holdings comes in. 

The company formerly known as Priceline shot to fame in 1997 as a pioneering aggregator of travel discounts, when their hit commercials starring Captain Kirk as the “Price-line Negotiat-or” guy won the hearts of audiences.

That is, until the dot-com bubble burst

The travel-booking site went public right at the peak of the dot-com disaster, and after it crashed, the company floundered, with their stock plummeting from $816 a share in 1999 to ~$8 a year later. 

That is until 2005, when the struggling affordable flight dealer decided to scale back their “name your own price” airfare concept and focus on the more lucrative niche of hotel bookings.

The company went on to acquire Amsterdam-based Booking.com, which became a huge growth driver, and ultimately helped them pull off what many feel to be the impossible — a corporate comeback.

Now, the company, who changed their name to Booking Holdings back in February, has a market cap of around $65B, and an adjusted stock that reflects an almost 30k% increase from its lowest point in 2002.

But this deal isn’t about the money for DiDi

DiDi has publicly stated that their bank account is billions of dollars deep, thanks to the gigantic $4B funding round they closed the end of last year, and of course, the $13B they’ve squeezed out of many big investors..

Instead, they’re looking at the move from a strategic level. Booking also operates Kayak, Priceline, Rentalcars, and OpenTable, all of which make powerful allies for the rideshare service in their global expansion extravaganza. 

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