The profiteering world saw a glimpse of Uber's business model and realized that there are lots of money to be made. These days, it seems that in every corner of the globe that Uber has touched, a rival company sprouts up and tries to grab a share of the market. There have been even cases where a company was innovative or powerful enough to push out Uber from the market.
One good example of this is Didi Chuxing. This Uber clone mainly operates in China and has successfully pushed out Uber from the country. However, it seems that Didi Chuxing just got started. The company has now invested a lot of money on Taxify, a ride-sharing company that operates mainly in Africa and Europe. Didi Chuxing is betting a lot on Taxify as it formally launches its operation in London, UK this year.
The exact number invested by Didi Chuxing is still largely unknown. However, from TechCrunch's investigation, it's in the ballpark of eight-figures (USD). The hunt is still on for a more accurate number.
Taxify's headquarters are located in Estonia. It's an interesting company as 3 of its founders came from Skype. At present, Taxify runs in 18 countries, including Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Romania, and Hungary. Taxify officially launched 4 years ago, and the company focused on emerging markets. Perhaps Taxify gained enough confidence and capital to start placing London in its sights.
According to Taxify, they have 2.5 million users. Their main service includes licensed taxi and private car owners, which categorically makes them an Uber rival.
Maybe that's all that Didi Chuxing needed to hear as Didi is known to give a helping hand to Uber rivals.
Didi Chuxing bought Uber's business in China, then proceeded to consolidate everything; a move that gave Didi Chuxing the top position in China's ride-sharing industry. From then on, Didi Chuxing only expanded their reach, partnering with other Uber rivals in other continents.
For example, Didi Chuxing made high profile investments on Grab, Ola, and Lyft, companies that are considered Uber’s rivals in Southeast Asia. In fact, Grab took the headlines recently when it gathered a $2 billion investment from Didi Chuxing and SoftBank. Didi Chuxing also made a $100 million investment on 99, an Uber rival in Brazil.
Didi Chuxing may be bored with taking businesses from Uber in emerging countries and that’s why it's now trying to enter London. It's worth mentioning that until this news came out, Didi Chuxing hasn't backed an Uber rival in the European region.
According to Chen Wei, Didi Chuxing's CEO, the partnership with Taxify is a strategic move in which they are hoping to link transport services across Asia, Africa, and Europe. The company also claims that it has now 400 million users in China. They said they’re investing on Taxify to help the company develop smarter products which would then fuel growth in the region.
Taxify's new partner is certainly a big boost for the company, especially considering that they had only raised $2.4 million in the past.