China’s Didi to invest $1 billion in its automotive services platform
BEIJING (Reuters) – Didi Chuxing Technology, China’s biggest ride-hailing service, said on Monday it would invest $1 billion in its car services business, as part of a bigger rebrand as the company is preparing for a highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO). ).
Didi’s service business, which includes auto leasing, car maintenance and gas station services, has gross merchandise value (GMV) sales of 60 billion yuan ($8.79 billion). ), the company added.
The unit will be consolidated under the new company Xiaoju Automobile Solutions Co., he said.
“Building on our service of 30 million Didi drivers, we will strive to develop a one-stop automotive solution platform that can win the utmost trust from motorists,” said Kevin Chen, who heads Xiaoju.
The decision comes as Didi prepares for a blockbuster IPO, which could happen as early as next year, according to people familiar with the plans. However, the Chinese ride-sharing giant has yet to confirm its plans for the listing.
A Didi IPO would be one of the biggest in recent years given the company’s $56 billion valuation when it last raised money in 2017.
Last month, sources told Reuters that Didi’s auto services unit was worth around $2 billion to $3 billion and that it was planned to be spun off from Didi’s core business ahead of a possible listing.
The company started offering automotive services in 2015, but launched a platform that unified the services in April this year.
Didi expects Xiaoju’s annualized sales to exceed 90 billion yuan ($13.17 billion) by the end of 2018, and it currently operates in 257 cities with around 7,500 partners and distributors.
The ridesharing business has also invested heavily in expanding its core business outside of its home market. Since Uber left China in 2016, Didi has started working in Southeast Asia, Brazil, Mexico and Australia investing in local partners or launching their services.
Last month, Didi said he had received a $500 million investment from US travel company Booking Holdings Inc. BKNG.O within the framework of a strategic partnership. The ride-sharing business is currently valued at around $56 billion.
Reporting by Cate Cadell, editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips