If Didi Chuxing Technology Co., the Uber of China, succeeds in the initial public offering in 2018, it will bypass Uber to become the world’s first publicly listed ride-hailing company.
According to the Wall Street Journal on April 24, Didi plans to launch its IPO in no later than 2018 with the ambition to seek a valuation of at least $70 billion to $80 billion.
The Wall Street Journal states that Didi’s IPO plan is still at a relatively early stage and Didi has not decided on the specific listing location yet.
If the IPO happens in the next few months, it would put Didi well ahead of Uber, its biggest rival in the markets outside of China, as the latter has claimed that it will not consider going public until 2019.
At the end of 2017, Didi received investments from SoftBank Group Corp, a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company, up to a total of $4 billion at a valuation of $56 billion. Meanwhile, Uber also received financing from SoftBank Group at a valuation of $48 billion.
Around the same time, Didi acquired Brazil’s ride-hailing company 99 by becoming its major shareholder, officially waging war with Uber in Latin American market.
As for the Southeast Asian market, Didi and SoftBank Group injected $2 billion of investments into Grab, the Singapore-based ride-hailing platform, in 2017. This move prompted Uber to abandon the Southeast Asian market last month.
In the Chinese market, given Meituan-Dianping’s quick expansions in the food delivery business and transportation industry, as well as Meituan recent entrance into the ride-hailing market, the speeding up of Didi’s IPO seems reasonable.
According to insiders, the amount of total transactions on Didi exceeded $27 billion last year. If going according to its original plan, Didi would go public in the United States or Hong Kong in the second half of this year with the hope of being valued at around $80 billion.
The source also revealed that the ideal evaluation for Didi executives are upwards of $100 billion, and they are currently negotiating with investment banks such as the China International Capital Corporation. Didi has declined to comment on such matter.