Didi is dominating ridesharing in China — now they’re dipping into their $9B of fun money

Didi Chuxing puts their major funding year in 2017 to good use, including a big push into AI research.

Chinese-ride-hailing star Didi Chuxing has been raking in the funding, and last week, they flexed their #gainz hard by opening their 3rd AI research lab, in Beijing, said to “push the boundaries of transportation innovation.”

This comes after a monster investment year in 2017, when they raised over $9B from investors. That puts Didi at a whopping $56B valuation, with investors like Alibaba, Tencent, and Apple.

FYI, that’s higher than Uber

Yep, Uber is usually valued between $68B and $78B, but last month, their partnership with Softbank came at a 30% discount, putting Uber close to a $48B valuation, and let’s just say, Didi is striking while the iron is hot.

Aside from out-valuing them, they’re also gobbling up some of Uber’s other international competitors, like 99 — Uber’s Brazilian rival — acquiring the ride-hailing company for close to $600m.

Just a little extra insurance in the fight for worldwide ride-hailing domination…

Back to the labs

The Beijing research labs will employ more than 200 engineers and AI experts to tackle transportation-related AI challenges, like enhancing computer vision, deep learning, and other cool robot smarty pants kinda stuff.

Chinese tech companies have been making a huge push to expand their AI initiatives in the US lately, and Didi’s new Beijing lab will work in conjunction with the AI hub they launched in Silicon Valley last March.

Scared yet, Uber?

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