Didi seals strategic investment with 99, Brazil’s leading car-on-demand service provider

Deal hailed as key supporting role in 99’s financing, technology and operational knowledge, as it reshapes the competitive landscape in Latin America

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 1:10pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 January, 2017, 10:34pm

Didi Chuxing is teaming up with a major shared-mobility provider in Brazil via a strategic partnership as the Chinese mobile-based personal transportation giant further extends its global reach.

Beijing-based Didi has made what it called a “strategic investment” in 99 (formerly 99Taxis), which is large enough to allow it a seat on the Brazil firm’s board of directors.

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In addition, Didi will provide strategic guidance and support, the companies said in a joint statement, including in the areas of technology, product development, operations and business planning, as 99 continues its expansion domestically and the broader Latin American market.

Didi inked strategic partnership deals last year with several ride-hailing majors, including Lyft in the United States, Ola in India and Southeast Asia’s GrabTaxi, as an effort to take on global car-on-demand service provider giant Uber Technologies.

But the team-up with 99 is its first global move since Didi and Uber made a truce in August last year after years of a costly competition war for control of China’s ride-hailing market.

Founded by a group of young Brazilian entrepreneurs in 2012, 99 offers app-based on-demand private car and taxi-hailing services across 550 cities in Brazil – considered the world’s second fastest-growing internet market. It has over 140,000 registered drivers and more than 10 million user downloads, said the statement.

Peter Fernandez, CEO of 99, welcomed Didi to Latin America.

“Its financing, state-of-art technology and operational knowledge will play a key supporting role as 99 actively expands its network and services in Brazil and reshapes the competitive landscape in Latin America.”

Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of Didi Chuxing, said China and Brazil are the world’s foremost emerging markets with enormous opportunities for the ride-share industry.

“We look forward to working with more global partners in creating better mobility services and more work opportunities for our cities,” he said, “as we reshape together the future global transportation system.”